Monday, December 21, 2009

The Perks of Being Married to a Sonographer

I got to see the baby tonight!! Jonathan and I went in to the hospital after hours to try and figure out the sex. The baby was determined to keep that little secret under wraps with a strategically placed umbilical cord and uncooperative legs, but we got to see him or her moving all over the place. And Jonathan showed me where the heart is and I got to see the blood moving through the umbilical cord and the heart.

Jonathan never scans for OB, he's not even trained in it at all, so when Dave, who is also not trained in OB, knocked on the door we had him see if he could find out the sex. He said he eventually got it with both of his sons, but our baby was just not willing to share the information. Hopefully when we go in on the 4th of January we can have a bit more cooperation. At one point we thought it was a girl, but Jonathan eventually figured out we were looking at part of the umbilical cord.

The baby is sitting very low down, with its head in my pelvis and the legs pointing up towards my belly button. It looks as if he or she is ready to come out and join the world already!

Even though I will not use Jonathan's job as a benefit as much as some of his co-workers wives have, it was nice to go in and see the baby. Granted, if something were wrong, we wouldn't be able to tell, but even just seeing movement was nice.

And there's something sweet about saying hello to your baby when it's only you and your husband in a dark ultrasound examine room with a big Christmas tree out the picture window to your left. It was fun, exciting and I got to look as long as I wanted.

Best Christmas present I've had so far this year, and I don't think anything will top it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Cookies

On Saturday evening we had some people over for a Christmas cookie party. We don't have a lot of great pictures because things were a tad hectic, but here are a few.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Going North

I've started planning our trip to Seattle this January and I am getting excited! Last year we went to the mountains in January and we would be doing the same thing this year. However, winter adventure sports + pregnancy = poor outcome. Usually when Jonathan and I go somewhere we rent a pet friendly house, but for this trip to Seattle we are staying in a hotel. For 3 nights!

Since I do not like to fly, AT ALL, we tend to vacation close to home. I'm afraid Jonathan will stop speaking to me for months if he has to get on a plane with me. I thought about asking Jonathan if we could do Hawaii or somewhere tropical for our January vacation this year. Then I realized two things. 1. I don't like wearing bathing suits when I'm not pregnant. 2. I don't really like the whole tropical thing. I prefer wool socks, stocking caps and gloves. I like rain, snow and sleet. White sandy beaches are nice, but I don't like to swim and I burn easily. Like I said, we tend to stay close to home when we go on vacation.

We got a blind deal on a travel website so we don't know what kind of room we will have, but we know it's at the downtown Sheraton hotel in Seattle. 4 stars - how exciting! We have a few things planned, well, actually, we have a lot planned, but for the most part I want to lay around and relax. I'm always exhausted at the end of the holiday season and each year I look forward to our January escape. This will be our last child free vacation for a while so I am going to put my feet up, order room service and sleep. I can't wait!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

13 weeks tomorrow!

Tomorrow marks 13 weeks for me and I have to say I'm finally starting to feel pregnant. My stomach popped out a few days ago and I had to cave sooner than I thought I would on the maternity clothes front. Thankfully I was able to find some maternity clothes in petite sizes. I was wearing a pair of pants my sister bought me which were just a tad too big still. Now I can walk around work without tugging on my pants every few seconds!

I feel like a good chunk of my brain has gone missing and I'm beginning to think I may never get it back. Before I leave in the morning I have to stop for a second and make sure I have all my clothes on, I have shoes on, not slippers, and I brushed my hair/teeth/put on deodorant. It's amazing to me how easily things slip my mind now. Especially basic hygiene things like putting on deodorant!

I have a prenatal appointment on Monday so I have to keep a food diary this week. It's funny to look back and see what I eat every day. I'm a big fan of toast, peanut butter, carrots, turkey and cheese. I don't think I'm eating the same thing every day, but when I go back and look my diet is pretty plain and boring. I'm afraid I'm not eating enough calories, but we'll see what my midwife says after my next appointment. I don't think I've gained any weight, but I want to weigh in on the clinic's scale and see what it says. At the most I've gained 2-3 lbs. Once I enter the second trimester it will be time to start packing on the pounds.

I will post pictures soon - once I take a few where I'm not wearing sweats or pajamas!

And, so far, I am H1N1 free. I'm still trying to get the vaccine, but Jonathan was able to get his so I am hoping that will help. I've been taking so many vitamins I'm afraid I will turn into one, but it's all worth it if I can stay healthy.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Oh, this blasted H1N1

I've spent the past couple months trying to decide if I should get the H1N1 vaccine or not. A few weeks ago I thought I had my decision made: nope, not going to get it. Then Jonathan came home from work one day and told me it was just too dangerous, I should get it if I could. Here's the problem: I can't get it. If I was seeing an OBGYN for this pregnancy instead of a midwife, I may have a better chance. I can't get it from Marion County Health, even though they received 800 rounds of vaccine this week. Those vaccines were allocated within 45 minutes of receiving them and I got a busy signal every time I tried to call for an appointment.

My mother is certain I am going to get deathly ill if I don't get the vaccine. My father-in-law told me the vaccine is only 35% effective. Is it better to be slightly protected than not at all? With Jonathan working in a hospital, and seeing patients with H1N1, it's likely he will bring it home. We are still waiting for him to get vaccinated. So far the hospital is only offering the nasal vaccine for its workers.

It's worrisome because chances are you will get sick with this strain of the flu, even if you up your vitamin intake, wash your hands, change your sheets often and do all the other things that are supposed to help protect you against illness. I was immune compromised before I got pregnant. Am I doubly immune compromised now?

I generally try not to freak out about things like this, but I've decided to go with the general US mindset on this issue. 28 pregnant women have died so far in the US. Yikes. I'm going to keep doing everything I can do to try and stay healthy, but I work in a bookstore and I see a lot of people during the course of a day.

As an American, and a fairly privileged one at that, I'm not used to being in a situation like this. I think overall it's probably a good experience (as long as I don't get deathly ill) but my goodness is it frustrating. All I can do right now is keep trying to get the vaccine and do my best to stay healthy.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

10 1/2 weeks

I'm 10 weeks 5 days and sooo ready for the second trimester. Every time I think I'm done being sick, I get sick again. The nausea is mostly under control, but the throwing up may never stop. At least it's only once a day, at the most. I know there are people who throw up six or seven times a day during the first trimester.

I recently started thinking about all the gear that comes with a baby. Oh my is it overwhelming. I'm determined to just get the basics and buy as much used as possible - especially when it comes to clothing. But then I see the cutest sweater and I can't imagine NOT having it a year from now. I suppose it's a good thing Jonathan gave me a budget as soon as the pregnancy test showed a positive sign.

There is a part of me that feels like these next few months are my last moments of freedom. I don't think my life will end in May when the baby comes, but it will definitely be a lot different. Last Thursday I spent the entire day in bed. I read 2 1/2 books and slept a lot. I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen after Blueberry joins us! Jonathan and I are planning to do a small local trip early next year. It will be a good chance to hang out and relax. I think we may head up to Seattle. There are quite a few things we want to do in the area and if we have the time we have lots of friends and family up there.

I can't believe Halloween is this Saturday. I'm really, really excited for the Christmas season to begin. Normally I don't love the Christmas holidays, but this year I can't wait for November/December. I have no idea why, but I am already looking for items to decorate the house and I've started my Christmas shopping.

It's time to eat dinner. I've been eating pretty much constantly lately; no wonder people gain more weight then they're supposed to when pregnant!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Expecting

Well, I went away for a while because I was afraid I would blurt out our happy news! It has all happened very quickly, but as of today I am 2 months pregnant. And what a crazy two months it's been. I knew almost instantly I was pregnant. I've spent the past eight weeks feeling sick, emotional, weepy and a bit crazy. Jonathan and I had to make a couple big decisions about how we wanted to have the baby and where we wanted to have the baby, which was a little stressful, but I'm feeling peaceful about our decision.

Our baby is due May 20th, but since this is my first pregnancy I'm presuming it will take a little longer. It was too strange for me to keep calling the baby in my stomach 'it.' For the past few weeks we've been calling the baby Blueberry and I think Blueberry will be its name until we know the sex/decide on a name. We both desperately want a boy, but wanting something that badly usually means God will challenge you by giving you the opposite of what you want.

Truthfully I'm just glad I was able to get pregnant with zero complications despite my chronic illness. On top of that blessing we are able to have the baby at a gentle birthing center, Bella Vie, also despite the evil chronic illness. Good things are happening all around right now. I love my midwives and I love the birthing center. I don't particularly like being pregnant, but I'm hoping I will feel differently about that once the first trimester is up.

Jonathan and I have reacted to the pregnancy as I thought we would: plan, plan, plan. Jonathan is planning on finishing the basement and possibly the upstairs. I already have a budget set up for the nursery and a color scheme picked out, whether it's a boy or a girl. Oh, and I bought a bassinet on CraigsList when I was five weeks pregnant because it was exactly what I wanted and it's never been used. Our plan is to buy as much used baby gear as possible and spread the purchases out over the nine (now seven!) months. Thankfully there are two resale shops here in Salem that specialize in kids clothing and gear.

I've only missed 1/2 a day of work so far which I am really proud of. Most days I feel better if I get up, go to work and have something to focus on besides feeling sick to my stomach. If I could eat constantly, I think I would feel a lot better. Hmmm, I wonder if I can get an IV?? The pizza/pasta cravings have been out of control. I think Jonathan is going to go on strike soon if I keep insist on eating all carbs, all the time.

I don't know what I would do without Jonathan. He cooks, he cleans, he brings me toast in bed, he makes me pizza and french fries and he doesn't mind when I cry for no apparent reason. Despite working forty hours a week, he's almost able to keep up with the house. It's been very, very impressive. When I feel well enough, I help him out, but right now if I have any down time I tend to fall asleep. I've been asking Jonathan for a dishwasher for a year. He's been doing dishes for three weeks and is ordering the dishwasher tomorrow. And he's decided we have to eat on paper plates until we get the dishwasher, because he can't keep up with the dishes. Whatever works right?

Speaking of Jonathan, he's out getting me pizza at my favorite (for the moment) neighborhood place. We're going to eat pizza, watch The Office (yea for Jim and Pam!) and then I'm going to bed. Here's to 12 hours of sleep a night!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ocean Shores

Jonathan and I had a really good time in Ocean Shores with my parents. We went for a long boat ride on the canal, walked on the beach, went bowling and ate at an Irish restaurant. When we went for our walk on the beach the dog and I climbed the rocks. When we were coming down she started going really fast and I had to let go of her so I wouldn't fall. Instead of helping me catch her Jonathan took pictures of me and laughed.




Monday, August 17, 2009

Home

Tomorrow I head back to work after taking a week off. It was wonderful spending a week away from work and it makes me feel refreshed and ready to jump into 4th quarter and the holiday season. I can't believe I am thinking about the holidays already, but that is the retail world for you.

Jonathan and I spent a few days camping, then we had a party and then we recovered from the party. We snagged an amazing campsite on the lower McKenzie river. All of the rangers who stopped by said "Oooh, you got campsite #6. That's the best one, we always try to get it when we camp."

The campsite was huge and secluded so we were able to let Isabel run wild. We were right next to the river and there was a downed tree that made a bridge to an island in the middle of the river. Isabel spent a lot of time on that log, running across, playing, running to the campsite, playing and on and on. She thought living in the wild for a few days was a great idea. Last time we went camping she spent most of her time wanting to go home. This summer was a vast improvement. If you ever head out to the McKenzie and want a great place to camp the site where we stayed is Frissell Crossing. It's way up near Cougar Reservoir, but it is well worth the drive. And during the week there's usually only one or two other groups up there. For most of our first day we were all alone at the campground.

One other item of note from our camping time: I ate 6 smores and set a Rodman family record. Jonathan can only eat two before getting sick. I felt very triumphant, and surprisingly not sick, that evening.

We cleared out on Wednesday night when it started to rain. Got home around 11 and woke up early the next day to start working on the party. Next time I have a party I am not doing it in August. People are way, way too busy during the summer and it's insane trying to figure out numbers and food.

The party went well, better than I expected, and no one seemed to mind that we were having a housewarming nearly a year after we moved into the place. We only had room in the budget to buy one or two things a month so if people had come over directly after we bought the house we would've been sitting on the floor and eating out of our hands. Okay, we did have some furniture when we moved in, but nothing on the walls or personal details.

When the party got down to 10 people on we crammed into the living room (it was freezing outside!) and played games for a while. I love how cozy the house seems at moments like that. And I'm glad to have a house. We are lucky in that we both work and can afford to have a mortgage in our 20s.

Today I was sitting in the backyard, which Jonathan fully seeded so we have a bigger area of grass, and thinking about how much I love my house. I have had quite a few moments where I have felt less than spectacular because our house is not as nice and new as a lot of people's we know.

I've been feeling really discontented about a lot of things lately. Have I mentioned that I really, really want to have kids? And of course, it's not happening as fast as I would like it to. One of my faults is my tendency to subscribe to that American attitude of wanting what I want NOW. I've really been trying to work on that and after this time off I feel like I've made some progress.

Lately I've been trying to focus on the positive (which is really, really hard for me) and just be. I love my house, I love my husband, I love my dog, I love my family, I love my work and I think that is more than enough to keep me content. The rest will come, when it is meant to come. Now I just have to repeat that 100 times a day and I should be set.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Lost

I have spent the past few days looking for important things I have somehow lost. I spent hours, HOURS, looking for my marriage certificate, or proof of marriage, because I had to renew my license. I ended up having to go to the clerk in McMinnville and get a new copy because I couldn't find the stupid piece of paper. Then I ended up not needing it. Of course.

While looking for the marriage certificate I discovered the bag of picture hooks. I was super excited to stumble across those because I have six pictures framed and ready to hang but I couldn't find the stupid hooks. I knew I would have to order more picture hooks because I only had a few, but I had no idea where those few had gone to. Imagine my surprise this afternoon when I pulled the picture hook bag out of its storage spot only to discover it was empty. Why in the world did I take the hooks out? After 45 minutes of looking I cannot find the picture hooks. So I'm going to order a large quantity tonight and when they arrive via UPS in a few days, I am sure I will find the missing ones.

As I've been searching my house I have discovered a bit about myself. My main discovery: I like chocolate. A lot. I found bits of chocolate hidden in three different places! I ate every single bite, even though most of it was old and not so tasty.

We are getting ready to go camping soon and I'm paranoid I will lose something important before we go. We've been planning this trip for months, we both love getting outside and away from modern amenities for days at a time. What if I misplace the tent? I love being outside, but I don't like sleeping outside with bugs and animals.

I'm going to search the house for the picture hooks one last time before I make an order. Due to my frantic marriage certificate search the entire contents of my attic are spread across the floor upstairs while the contents of my downstairs cupboards are spread around the living room. Since nothing is in its proper place I should be able to find the hooks - right?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hot!

Oh my stars. I do not do well when it gets this warm outside. I'm grumpy, irritated and for the first time in my life I wish we had central air. We have an air conditioner in the bedroom, a window unit, but it only cools that room down. It's 90 degrees outside and it's 9:30. That's just wrong. We've been spending all of our time in the bedroom. The lower part of the house is 85 degrees and it's so hot upstairs I may suffocate soon.

I can't believe it's almost time to get ready for August. I turn 26 in a week, (!) we're helping my parents move into their fabulous new house, we're going camping and hopefully having a party on the 15th. We invited lots of people to the party, but haven't received any RSVPs. Maybe people don't RSVP anymore?? I invited a few people from out of town so I understand why they can't come, but I wish some more local friends would be able to make it. I'm paranoid I will be expecting six people, because that's how many have RSVP'd, but 30 will show.

Maybe I shouldn't have come up with this whole idea. Planning things always ends up stressing me out. Add this blasted heat and I'm a basket case.

On the bright side I got to see my nephew on Monday. He just got back from Yellowstone so he had lots to tell me about waterfalls and geysers. He still calls me Nana Annie which I LOVE. I got lots of hugs and kisses which will hopefully sustain me until I get to see him next month. I can't believe he will be 3 in September! I'm going to have to stop calling him Baby Ryan soon.

I have to head back downstairs before I melt. I picked up three new YA advances at work today. I read one when I got home and I'm ready to go on the next one. Haven't been sleeping much, but I am getting lots of reading done!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tour #3

A few days ago I saw my brother for the last time before he deploys to Iraq. Again. This will be his third tour in six years, but he will be a medic so he should be a bit safer. He said they don't know where they will be exactly, but it will be close to the Iranian border. I can't believe he's been in the Army six years. He joined up right out of high school and his initial goal was two years. Now he's talking about going career, but what he wants to do for a living changes constantly so I'm hoping he won't choose it as a career. I am very proud of him, but I cannot fathom what he has been through.

His perspective on the war is fascinating. He talks about how they were trained to enter enemy territory on foot, but in Iraq they were given Humvees. He said it was strange, and impossible, to stealthily enter a compound or village when they were rolling down the road in big, rumbling Army vehicles. He said as a medic they will mostly be treating Iraqi citizens who don't have access to a doctor or can't get to the hospital. He is trained in trauma, but most of the time he will be doing basic where does it hurt, how do you feel? care. The injured soliders they do see get enough care to get to Germany. He said they fly people out so quickly they have to work fast to stabilize them and ensure they can handle the duration of the flight. He also explained they have almost all of the usual medical supplies a hospital would, as long as they can get them. It's just amazing to me. They basically have a hospital in the middle of the desert. Granted, it's in tent-like structures, but it's still pretty impressive.

It's been four years since his last tour. I remember the panic every time the phone rang at an odd hour. I remember receiving the call he was injured, but they didn't yet know how bad it was. I can't believe he's going back. We just have to trust that the Lord will keep him safe and bring him back home.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Cooking

Well, it's 5:00 and I find myself at my usual evening crisis point: What the heck should I make for dinner? This thought is usually followed by: I wonder if I'm a bad cook. I wonder if I'm a boring cook. If I have children will they starve / stop growing / not get the proper nutrition because I don't know how to cook a lot of things?

Okay, so these thoughts don't go through my mind on a daily basis, but they are becoming more frequent. I don't like cooking, I know there's a lot of things I don't like because I have a limited range of what I like / can eat, but I do try. I feel like I know a lot of people who can whip up amazing, healthy meals in minutes while I'm still flipping through the recipe book trying to find something that will only take a few minutes to make.

Most of my immediate family members think I am an amazing cook. I may be the best on my side of the family, but that's not really something to be proud of. My husband's side of the family has no such illusions.

I can't stand touching raw meat, I wouldn't know what to do if you gave me a whole chicken, I've never made lamb, or turkey, or duck and the foods I like to eat are not very glamorous, at all. We eat a lot of pasta, chicken, rice and vegetables. I know there isn't anything wrong with what I make, but I can't help feeling like I could be doing better. Oh my, can you imagine me as a parent? I'm going to be a guilt-wracked, hand-wringing mess.

I may constantly worry about what's for dinner, I may wonder if my food is wonderful enough to be consumed by the average foodie (probably not, in all honesty), but I do have one source of pride and that bit of pride is what I am going to focus on this week. I never, ever prepare frozen food for us. I don't serve chicken nuggets, or burritos from the freezer section. If we want fries, pizza, stir-fry or lasagna at home we make it ourselves instead of getting it prepackaged from the store.

I know a lot of people rely on this section of the grocery store and there is nothing wrong with that. But I have to have a little bit of pride in this area and I am going to take it from the fact that I try my best to make sure we eat fresh, local food.

So I'm going to stop worrying (or at least try) about whether or not my dinner attempts are good enough and be grateful we have the ability to buy fresh, organic, locally produced food. I've only been at this cooking thing a few years. In 10 more years I may be handling raw meat like a pro and using vegetables I don't even know how to pronounce right now. At this moment I have to focus on what to make for dinner tonight. Wish me luck.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A short break

This past weekend Jonathan and I headed for the Cave Junction / Grants pass area to celebrate our 3 year anniversary. I've spent a lot of time over the past couple weeks reflecting on where we were a year ago and being very, very glad that 2008 is behind us. We had a great weekend away. We stayed up at the Chateau at the Oregon Caves which was serene and provided some much needed rest for both of us. We went on a couple hikes, toured the Oregon caves, toured a nearby tree house bed and breakfast (it was as weird as it sounds) and took a jet boat ride up the Rogue River.

The economy in Southern Oregon seems to be a lot worse than it is up here. We saw people walking, hitchhiking and sitting on the side of the road asking for money everywhere we went. I have to admit, Jonathan and I have not really been affected by the poor economy. We both have fairly stable jobs, we have a bit in savings, we've bought a house and a car recently and we are quite comfortable. It was a bit jarring to see so many people who were obviously destitute. On the other hand, it made me appreciate what we have all the more. Jonathan and I have been blessed many times over and it is all too easy to forget that.

As soon as we got back from our mini-vacation, it was like we had never been gone. Someone vandalized the stop sign at the end of our road while we were away, we had a fight the day we arrived home, and when we went to the store someone scraped up the new car and drove away without leaving a note. My work week has been insane, and Jonathan's hasn't been much calmer. We haven't even been back for a week and we're both running to and fro, busy, busy, busy with little time for each other.

This year I am determined to do less running and more sitting and talking. It was so strange to feel like we needed a weekend to catch up and see how the other person was doing. Life is busy, but it's also short and I'm going to try to relax a bit and be a better person (and wife) this year. We'll see how it goes ...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Switch

The day before Jonathan left for Washington I switched my thyroid medication. Oh, wow. I probably shouldn't have done that while I was living alone. I've been hanging out in the zombie zone for the past few days. I may call my doctor tomorrow because I am exhausted, sick and quite loopy.

I sleep for 9 hours, but can barely get up in the morning. I keep slurring my words at work (sorry to the new hire I am training right now!) and I cannot seem to put my thoughts in order. And now, tonight, I've started throwing up. Once I hit the throwing up, or weeping stage, that is it. It's time to call the doctor and make sure he knows what the heck he's doing.

Chances are, he does. It's just a nasty time when you mess with body chemicals and hormones. I've been on the same medication for so long I forgot how unpleasant it was to feel this way.

And I'm so irritated and I don't think before I speak. Maybe I should've taken a week off work before doing this. I knew it was going to be a big change, but it's worse than I thought it would be. I went from a 5 mg once a day really strong dose to a weak sauce drug that requires me to take 50 mg twice a day. BUT, it will cross the placenta a bit less when (if) I get pregnant, so it's worth it.

On the up side, our 3 year anniversary is today. Jonathan flies in from Washington at 11:15 tonight so we won't celebrate until this weekend. We're going to take a little trip and it's going to be wonderful to catch up.

I need to get the dog settled and head off to the airport. I HATE going to the airport; hopefully I can stay awake on the drive up!

Monday, June 1, 2009

My Ah-Ha Moment

A few days ago Jonathan and I were arguing about whether this is the right time for us to buy a dishwasher. We would have to use a bit of savings to do it because we are putting most of our money in our savings account right now in a desperate attempt to spend less. I was dead set against dipping into our savings, while Jonathan thought it was fine because we've been planning on purchasing a dishwasher since we moved into the house and the one we wanted was on sale. As our discussion escalated Jonathan tossed out a brilliant tidbit: "Our savings exists so we can buy things!" Now, this may not seem like a shocking statement to most people, but for me it was a huge Ah-Ha! moment.

When we first got married we had no money. Heck, we had less than no money. Jonathan's parents paid most of our rent and we went over to their house for dinner a lot. It was a very lean, very scary time for us. Now that we are more financially secure I am paranoid of regressing back to that time in our lives. And as a kid I remember my dad losing his job multiple times. We never wanted for anything, but I remember one particularly tough year when my parents went through a good portion of their savings. Now that I have some control over what we earn, save, spend etc. I am desperate to have enough money in the bank just in case something happens. Here's the problem with that theory: you never know how much just in case might cost you.

This weekend I finally figured out why we have 2 savings accounts. One for the majority of our savings, one for things we may want to buy, like a new car for Jonathan, a dishwasher, lawn furniture, and on and on and on. I can't believe it took me this long to figure out that I don't have to freak out every time we buy something. Now, don't get me wrong, I like buying lots of small things like clothes, books and things for the house. However, when that figure creeps over $300.00 I start to sweat. I know $300.00 is not a lot of money but that is my base line freak out number and I'm pretty sure I can't change that.

Fortunately, I can change how I react when Jonathan asks if now is the time to buy a dishwasher. Turns out, it's not. Someday though I will have my little 18 inch dish cleaning wonder. And when that day comes I will remain calm and hand over the money.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Teaching a dog how to swim

The past couple days we've been taking Sam's dog Slate to a park in Keizer so he can learn how to swim. It is so funny watching a dog try to figure out how to swim. By day 2 he was swimming like a little seal. He still won't get in the river, but he doesn't mind the lake we found. The video quality isn't great because we took it with our camera, but you can still see how great he's doing. Isabel is the other dog in the video. She doesn't care what Slate does as long as she can keep swimming and fetching!

Here is one of his first attempts




And here he is on day two swimming like he's done it all his life. Okay, he's not that good, but he'll be doing really well by mid-June.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's almost June?!

This has been a crazy month. I can't believe June is almost here, although I am loving the warmer weather. My mom was in China for two and a half weeks this month (she arrived home safely on Friday!) and the direct result of her absence was my life speeding up a lot. My sister relies on my mom to help her with nearly everything and with my mom being in another country, much of that fell on me. I don't mind helping my sister out, but it is exhausting. My nephew is 2 and a half now and he has lots to say about the world and his life. I loved spending so much time with him, and I was given a new name, (Nana Annie) but at the end of our days together I found myself ready for a book, some ice cream and a bit of couch time.

On Sunday Jonathan and I went for a hike with my dad and the dog. We went all the way up to the base of Hoodoo only to discover the hike we really wanted to do was still completely snowed in. We went back down to Detroit and hiked the Breitenbush trail. With my mom gone my Dad was working 14+ hour days and I felt like it was important to get him out of his office. Of course when we got back to our house he hopped into his car and headed in to work. At least we tried.
The next day, Monday, I got home from spending a day at the beach with my sister and nephew only to have to go with Jon to rescue his two best friends. They had spent the day drinking and kayaking on the Willamette River. Around 7:30 they tipped over and had quite a dramatic time trying to make it to shore with the kayaks and themselves intact. We didn't know they were drunk until we found them in Keizer River park dripping wet, cold and miserable. Dan was two days back from his honeymoon and I told him I thought he would be a little more responsible when he got married. Sam kept telling us he was so glad his phone worked because he thought for sure they were going to die. These boys are nearing 30, at some point they're going to have to pull themselves together and stop acting like frat boys.

I worked Tuesday and Wednesday, went to my sister's on Thursday, worked Friday and Saturday and went to a birthday party last night. Sam's mom had a big UFC party for her birthday. She likes to knit and she loves UFC (what a combo!) so we watched the fights on a big projection screen in their living room. It was more fun than I thought it would be, and not too bloody.

Now it's Sunday again and Jon's working a short shift as a wayfinder because people are still having trouble finding their way in the new hospital. He gets paid the same as he does for his regular job, only it's time and a half and he gets to stand in the parking garage for 4 hours and tell people which elevator is the correct one to use. Why they don't just put up a sign, I don't know, but we'll take the extra money!

Tomorrow it's off to the beach again to get Jon some shirts for his Washington DC trip, which is fast approaching, and to pick up some things for my sister at her beach house. If Ryan's chemo goes well on the 4th of June they will be headed out to Idaho with Scott. They'll have to come back once a month for chemo, but at least they will get to spend three weeks of each month together as a family.

I am exhausted. May has been a whirlwind of activity and I could really use a vacation. That's not going to happen until August though. We're going camping and we're going to have a huge housewarming/birthday bash August 8th. It's not even June and I already feel like the summer is almost over!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Wedded Bliss

This week has been a long and tiring one. On Friday night we had our first wedding of the season! Jonathan's friend Dan got married at the Grand Ballroom in McMinnville. It was a wonderful wedding, lots of fun, good food, I am so glad Dan is happy, but I am exhausted. Jon was in the wedding so the week leading up to the big day was very full for him. It seems like Jon, Sam and Dan were out every night enjoying Dan's last few nights of singledom.

After the speeches I was walking down to the restrooms when Sam came up beside me. He started talking about how his two best friends were married now and how sad he is. Then I asked him about his ex, something I've been wanting to do for a long time. While Sam and I are fairly close (I see him at least once a week, if not more) we're not close enough that I can ask him what the heck happened with his last girlfriend without him giving me an opportunity. Well, opportunity knocked and I took it.

We stood outside the restrooms (lovely place for a conversation, I know) and he explained that he didn't really know what happened. He thought she was the one, he thought he wanted to marry her but now he's glad to be single again because the only happily married couple he knows is Jonathan and me. Mmm, I don't really think that's entirely true, but he was feeling rather sad so I let it pass without comment. I told him Jonathan and I didn't have a perfect marriage, no one does, but not everyone's willing to put that much effort into a relationship and that's fine. Throughout the week people kept asking Sam when he would get married and I could tell he had had it. So I told him Jonathan and I were happy for him if he was happy. Then an older gentleman came up and told Sam he loved his speech and the conversation was over.

It was a strange moment, but every now and then Sam will open up to me and all I can do is try to give him the best advice I can in a very short amount of time. Usually he's drunk when this happens, or well on his way, but I'm pretty sure the copious amounts of So Co he drank throughout the afternoon had worn off by the time we talked. It's always interesting to get serious glimpses of Sam because he's usually happy and jovial. He knows a lot of people, he's super friendly and everyone loves him. When he drops his guard and gets serious it always throws me off balance.

I like all of Jon's friends, but I am the closest with Dan and Sam. Jon's known them for 12 years and I've known them for almost 6 years now. I'm so happy for Dan and his new wife. I teared up during the ceremony, during the speeches, during the first dance ... I never all out cried, but I was emotional for most of the wedding. If Sam ever gets married, I will be ecstatic for him, but I really don't believe that's in the cards for him. So I must remind myself that he is happy being single and I should not ask him if he will ever get married. Marriage is not right for everyone and he's perfect just the way he is.

I'm getting emotional just writing about weddings! I guess it's time to finish up the dishes. Jonathan and Sam want to take the dogs down to the river this afternoon. Hopefully it will be warm!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Freedom!

Last week we got really, really good news. Jonathan was picked to go to the national echo cardiogram conference in Washington DC in June. Basically this is a big convention where techs and doctors can learn about new tools, machines etc. Jonathan will be gone from June 5th - June 10th.

I'm happy for Jonathan because the higher-ups at the hospital wanted to send somebody with seniority, but the direct managers convinced them that Jonathan had a lot of influence and had done a lot for the department. And he gets to go with his good work friend and I know they're going to have lots of fun causing havoc all over DC.

I'm really happy for me because I LOVE having time to myself and I haven't had any since the year we were first married and that was only for a couple days. I love my husband to pieces, but sometimes it's wonderful to have a few days alone.

With Jon out of town I don't have to cook, I don't have to do nearly as much laundry (until he comes back) and it's much easier to keep the house up. When he leaves I tend to revert to college days. I have cereal for dinner, I stay up really, really late, I eat lots of food that I'm not supposed to have and I watch way more stupid TV shows than I do normally. With Jon gone I can turn on MTV, (which makes me feel old) curl up with a book, some chocolate, a beer and just be. Now, granted, I could do this even with Jonathan in the house but it's not as much fun. When he's away, I feel like I'm getting away with something, even though I know he could care less what I'm doing.

I'm going to have 5 entire days to myself and I'm going to cherish every moment. I'm going to have caffeine because there won't be anyone around to tell me not to. And there won't be anyone around to tell me to stop complaining about how uncomfortable I am once the caffeine kicks in and my heart rate sky rockets. There won't be anyone around to tell me that popcorn and ice cream is not nutritional and does not equal dinner. There won't be anyone around to pop into the living room, or bedroom, on the weekend to ask "Have you really been reading for 5 hours straight??" Oh my, it's going to be wonderful.

And here's the best part: No X-Box from June 5th - June 10th. No guns, no shouting into the headphones, no parties at our house, no online parties. I'm going to have days of peacefulness and I am going to treasure them.

BUT - it's probably a good thing he will only be gone for a few days. At the end of our time apart I will miss him, it will be our 3 year anniversary, and I will desperately need a decent meal.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

D-O-G

My dog, Isabel, is a genius. Or at least as smart as your average 2-year-old. The other day I was talking to Jonathan about the dog and who was going to take her outside to play. I spelled the word "out" because I knew if I said it she would be immediately ready to go and would get over-excited. When Isabel gets excited about going somewhere she follows you around the house and yawns. I'm not kidding. Her immediate response to going somewhere is to yawn and yawn and yawn until you put her in the car. And her yawns get bigger and bigger and bigger until you're pretty sure her jaw is going to unhinge if you don't get her outside. So we try not to say any words that may trigger this until we are absolutely ready to go.

Unfortunately certain actions also start the yawning process (putting on shoes or jackets) AND she can now understand some of the words we spell them out. And so the other night when I spelled "out" I was shocked when she jumped up and headed for the stairs. Our strategy now is to spell things backwards or mix the letters up a bit. If we spell the same thing too many times in a row she will pick up on it and learn that whatever we are spelling means she gets to play.

I don't know why I thought getting a border collie would be a good idea. I thought I knew what I was getting into, but I don't really like being outsmarted by my dog on a regular basis. Plus, any dog we get from here on out will seem so stupid. I can usually teach Isabel a new command in an afternoon. All I have to do is repeat it three or four times, give her a treat each time and she's good to go.

Despite all her smarts though, she is impossible to walk on a leash. She will not heel and we cannot get her to heel. Isabel hates being on a leash, she would much rather run free at the dog park, or go swimming, or hiking and I think she is an absolute tyrant when we leash her because she doesn't want to be leashed.

I love Isabel to pieces but my vocabulary is limited around her. Following are the words and phrases she responds to: go, going, out, swim, swimming, river, play, playing, park, Frisbee, ball, leash, come over here, come with me, do you want to, walk, run, find Jon, what's that?, kitty, cat, and car. I'm sure she knows more but that's all I can remember right now.

What's really interesting is how much she's changed since we first got her from the Humane Society. Isabel was terrified of inclines and hills when we first took her on walks and hikes. Now she's a log climbing, river swimming, mountain goat of a dog who loves to be outside. I love spending time with her but some days I wish she would pay less attention to me and what I'm saying.

Right now I'm trying to teach her "What's that noise?! Check perimeter, check perimeter." For some reason she is not picking up on this command, but I am hoping she will get it soon. Part of the problem may be that I don't exactly know how to teach her this one ...

The 11:00 news is on soon. I have to check in on my dangers of getting swine flu! And then I have to tell my dog how much I love her.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Playing catch-up

I didn't realize it's been so long since I posted. The weekends have been so nice I've spent most of my time outside recently.

This past weekend Jonathan and I went to the beach. It was our first trip of 2009 and it was very Oregon-beach-like. It was really sunny on our way to Lincoln City but as soon as we hit the town it fogged over and things got cold and windy. I had visions of lying on the beach in a t-shirt while the dog and Jonathan played around. Instead I curled up behind a log and tried to read while the wind whipped around me. I don't know why I was hoping for a warm day on the beach in Oregon in April. Hope springs eternal, I suppose.

Jonathan spent his time playing in a stream and throwing the Frisbee for the dog. Yes, he is 27 (since Monday!) but he still enjoys the simple things in life. He used rocks, sticks and sand to divert the stream and create new pathways. The dog enjoyed laying on top of, and therefore ruining, all of his new little streams.

Monday night Jonathan's friends came over for an X-Box party. I'll never get over 7 grown men, all of them married, most with children, playing video games for hours on end. I don't mind having his friends over, I just find the situation interesting. All of his friends are polite, nice to me and they usually clean up after themselves. My upstairs smells horrid for a couple days after, but they all have fun and I get to be the laid back wife who doesn't mind having all of the guys over. Maybe the other wives are on to something ...

In other news, I got the green light from all of my doctors regarding conception. I have to switch my thyroid medication in May and I want to wait a couple months after that. My endocrinologist says we can start trying to conceive any time we want, but I'm sticking to the conservative route. I want to know how my body reacts to the new medication before I toss in pregnancy hormones.

Jonathan wants to stick to our original plan of going off birth control in September. I'm pushing for August because I'm already feeling impatient and I think it's going to take us a long time to conceive. He said I can go off birth control and he doesn't even have to know about it unless I get pregnant right away. I vetoed that idea because I think it seems like a dangerous way to proceed. I never want to lie to Jonathan about birth control because it seems like entrapment (even though we are already married!).

I was contemplating a gentle birthing center but the nurse practitioner I am seeing right now said she doesn't feel there is one close enough to a hospital around here. Plus within 2 minutes of being born (or something ridiculous like that) the baby has to be checked for signs of hyperthyroidism and most birthing centers aren't able to do those tests. Now I'm trying to decide if I will use the nurse practitioner I am currently seeing in McMinnville or if I will try to find a new n.p or OBGYN in Salem. I love the nurse I am seeing in Mac and she can be the one who delivers the baby but I'm afraid there may be a price difference if we use Mac hospital. With Jonathan working at Salem hospital one of our benefits is cheaper care. We don't have to pay for ultrasounds and I think part of the hospital fee would be covered as well.

Why am I worrying about all of this now? Because I like to have all of my ducks in a row before I start on something new. And the only way I am going to be able to handle being pregnant and all of the changes that come with a baby is planning and having everything that can be planned ahead settled before I get pregnant. So, my "before I get pregnant this is what I need to know plan" is coming up on the one year mark and soon I will transition into the "oh my stars, we're going off birth control plan."

I love having the option to plan and think things through. I'm viewing this summer as a chance to get myself into shape before I try to get pregnant. I'm doing lots of Wii yoga and taking lots of walks and trying to prepare myself mentally and physically. I'm also viewing this summer as my last hurrah. I know, that's a tad dramatic, life doesn't stop once you have children but it certainly doesn't stay the same either.

I need to start dinner and take the dog out for a walk. It looks like it may rain tonight and for the next few days but I'm hoping the sunshine returns soon!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Found!

I found that elusive copy of Little Bee!! While straightening the ARC shelves in the staff room yesterday I found the slim little book. Good thing I decided to clean out my office and then got distracted and decided to clean up the staff room.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lost & Found

There's a book titled Little Bee I really want to read right now. It's in the book store in hardcover and it's selling pretty well. I know an advanced copy came in before this book was published. I know I read what it was about and I thought I put it back in the box and decided to pass because I wasn't in the mood for something so serious. Now it's getting great reviews, people are recommending it, I want to read it and I can't find it. I searched the staff room at the store, I looked next to my desk, and I looked all over my house. Sometimes I take advanced copies home without even realizing it. It's like a compulsion.

I also have this strange little book hiding habit. It's not intentional, nor do I realize I am doing it most of the time. I just tend to put books in what I consider a safe space and then wonder why I can't find them. There are a number of books I know I saw the advanced copy for, I remember holding them in my hand, and yet when I want to read them I can't find them again. Have I been hiding books from myself this whole time? I don't think so, but anything is possible with me.

A couple weeks ago my husband and I started working on our spring cleaning list. I found books in the strangest places all over the house. He found a couple titles in the basement and garage. I'm a little surprised at how many books I found stashed away considering we've only lived in this house since late September. I have a really bad habit of pulling books off my bookshelves, thinking "I'll read this soon, I'm going to put it next to the bed, or on the 'read soon' shelf." (Yes, I really do have a read soon shelf). However, these books rarely make it to their destination. Instead I get distracted and put them in the hall cupboard with the towels, or I set them down in the second bedroom when I go in to get a sweater, or I leave them upstairs and they get pushed underneath the couch. Trust me, it's not intentional. As a matter of fact, I think it's one of my more annoying habits.

I also have a bit of an issue with the quantity of books in my house. I really need another bookshelf, but Jonathan wants to build it and that is not on the priority list right now. So I've resorted to stacking books in various places around the house. But when company comes over I feel compelled to clean up those piles so I end up shoving books into closets and under beds and in other random places.

Last week my parents were coming over. Right before they were due to arrive I realized I had a couple Charlaine Harris books lying around. Harris writes a series of vampire books which I am embarrassed to admit that I read. I was worried my parents would see the books lying around and would know I was reading a vampire book with a bit of sex in it. What good vampire novel doesn't have sex?? So I panicked and I shoved the books into a wicker basket on the top of one of my bookshelves. Yes, I am 25 and they probably wouldn't have noticed, but old habits die hard.

This weekend Jonathan went to put some receipts in the basket (we use it as a catch-all for reciepts and other things that end up in the living room) and came up with the two books. "What the heck?" he asked me as he turned around, the books in his hands. "Oh, hey thanks, I've been looking for those. I want to take them to the store so we can sell them as used copies." Bless his heart, he handed them over without another word.

Now, if only I could find that advanced copy of Little Bee ...

Friday, March 13, 2009

This crazy, spinning Earth

Time seems to be speeding up these days. I can't believe it's already March 13th! This means my brother is 24 and April will be here before I'm ready.

On March 16th I have my biyearly check-up with my endocrinologist. Have I mentioned how much I love this man? He keeps me alive, and sane, I kid you not. During this appointment I am going to switch my medication. This is the first step, out of about one thousand, on the road to having a baby.

Or maybe this is the 2nd or 3rd step? My endo. and I have had this plan in place for at least 2 years, if not longer. Every time I go to his office he asks me about my family planning timeline. The first two times I wrung my hands and nearly cried. After that I was able to tell him I wasn't ready yet. And then during my last visit he forced me to talk about when I would be ready. He very kindly explained to me that I have to switch my medication and we need to know how I react to this switch long before I am pregnant. If my body reacts poorly I could become hyperthyroid and if I was pregnant when this occured, I would most likely miscarry. It's been strange to think about these things way before I am ready for them to happen, but at the same time, it's good to be prepared.

Even though I am determined not to tell people when we are going to start trying (such a weird concept/term, I have to say) I have been letting it slip that it is in the future. I am beginning to wonder if I shoud stop fighting the urge to tell everyone I meet that I am taking this HUGE first step. Whenever I do something I consider momentus I have to tell everyone I know, as well as some strangers, what is going on with me. It is a compulsive need and I'm not sure I can stop it now.

Side note: When did it become such a big deal to become pregnant?? Used to be women got married, got pregnant and lived their lives. Now there's baby registries, showers and all sorts of hullaballo when a woman gets pregnant / gives birth. I think somewhere along the line everyone forgot that this is a natural process. I'm not saying I don't like the choices that come along with birth control and the modern age; I just don't understand what all the fuss is about. Maybe I will when I'm pregnant???

And now back to where I started: in one year it will be March 13th 2010. My brother will turn 25, April will be right around the corner, and I could be pregnant.

I think I need to go breathe deeply into a paper bag now.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Victories

I've been feeling pretty good about what I've accomplished in my life lately. Most of these victories are superficial, or just plain stupid, but I'm still going to give myself a pat on the back.

- When I first started straightening my hair I had to focus and it took me at least 35 minutes. On Monday I straightened my hair, ate an English muffin and told my husband what laundry could be dried ALL AT ONCE. That's me multi-tasking at my best.

- My husband would be upset with me if he knew I was putting this up here, but he doesn't read this so it's all good. In the winter Jonathan gets dandruff and he's always used Head and Shoulders to control the problem. However, it doesn't work because it covers up the symptoms. This year I made him shampoo from essential oils and it's working!! Lately I have learned that the recommended treatment is not always the right treatment. This of course can apply to any and all aspects of my life.

- I have been working out and I've been enjoying it! I would like to lose 5, or 10 lbs, but just getting toned would be all right with me too.

- I sold my old car for $900.00!! I bought it 5 years ago for $2,000.00. The oil leaks, the air conditioning does not work and the check engine light has been on for at least a year. And yet, 3 hours after my husband posted the notice on CraigsList, we sold the car. I was so worried we would be stuck with it forever.

- Jonathan and I have decided when we are going to try to have children. This is a HUGE step for me, but now that I know we are going to try and when we are going to try I can relax. And just to be clear, trying is not going to happen NOW or in the near future.

Tomorrow we are doing Inventory at the store so I need to have a piece of peanut butter toast and go to bed. I realize eating peanut butter toast at 8:30 pm is not going to help me lost weight or get toned, but some nights it's necessary. I have to get up before 6:00 am tomorrow. In all honesty, I can't remember the last time I did that.

Enjoy the small, and large, victories in your own life!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Laundry

In our house the laundry area is in the basement. When I do laundry, which is a lot since Jonathan goes through at least two outfits a day, I try my hardest to bring the laundry upstairs when it is dry. If I don't bring it up it stays downstairs in baskets or the dryer and that corner of the basement becomes our closet. Jonathan does not mind this nearly as much as I do. For the past few days he has been heading downstairs every night to get scrubs for the next morning. Why he doesn't bring everything up at once I will never understand.

Since I don't have a pajama-like uniform to wear to work every day I have to think about what I am going to wear. I absolutely hate going down to the basement in the morning. The entire house is freezing because we turn the heat off at night and the basement is about 10 degrees cooler. I have started sending Jonathan to the basement to fetch clothes for me. You would think all these trips up and down our hellish basement stairs (they are not built to code) would cause him to bring all the laundry up at once. But no, it continues to languish in the basement day after day.

I would like to do an experiment wherein I leave all our clean clothes downstairs and see how long it takes before he gets frustrated and asks why he has to go downstairs to get dressed or find clothes. However, he would probably stop fetching my clothes long before he got tired of retrieving his.

When I do laundry this weekend I know I am going to have to bring it upstairs and fold it. But it's been fun to watch my husband approach his basket of scrubs with confusion each night this week. (I let him keep his scrubs on top of the dresser because it's easier for him when he's on call and I realized I had other battles to fight.) Here is our nightly conversation:
"Hey babe? I need scrubs."
I keep reading.
"Are there scrubs in the dryer downstairs?"
I shrug.
"I guess I will go check downstairs. You haven't done laundry recently?"
I shake my head.

He goes downstairs and returns with a pair of scrubs and a triumphant look on his face. Perhaps it's the glory of the search that keeps him from bringing the laundry up.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A bit of a whine fest

I've spent the past five days feeling awful. Today I stayed in bed and read from 8-10. Then I went upstairs, curled up on the floor in a pile of blankets next to the heater and watched an Ace of Cakes marathon on the Food Network.

I didn't sleep very much last night and I feel horrible. My energy level is super low and my right hand tremor has returned with a vengeance, but my heart rate is way lower than it usually is. When my thyroid levels go off balance my heart rate is usually the first thing to alert me to a change. Since that's not happening, I'm not sure if the reason I'm feeling ill is because of the usual culprit, or if it's something else.

I walk a fine line between being well enough to function and too ill to do much besides sleep. With medication I've been able to stay fairly healthy for the past 3 years, but I haven't felt completely well for about 6 years now.

This week is going to be a good one and I don't want the good parts to be ruined by a lack of appetite, nausea or general malaise. On Sunday I spent time with good friends who moved to Seattle a while back. On Wednesday I am having dinner with an old co-worker and on Thursday I hope to have lunch with a friend from university.

However, my excitement about all of this is overshadowed by how I've been feeling lately. And it's not just a physical feeling either; I've been feeling out of sync emotionally as well. There's a few things I am very, very frustrated about right now and I know there's nothing I can do to change those feelings of frustration. I'm also feeling very bitter and angry about some events that happened recently, but to mention my feelings would be pointless and I know to do so would be petty.

Overall, I would classify myself as grumpy.

My husband is married to his X-Box which drives me crazy. And it's made worse by the fact that he plays online with his friends. If I hear him scream "You watch the windows! Watch my back, man!" one more time, I just may lose my mind and destroy his X-Box. Plus I get snapped at whenever I venture upstairs to ask a question. His life is at stake! How dare I interrupt him?!

I know life is a series of ups and downs, but I feel like I've been down for most of 2009. As I mentioned in a previous post, January is a hard, hard month for me. And at this point, February isn't shaping up to be much better.

Grumpy and whiny has been my m.o for most of '09 thus far. I hope I snap out of it soon, because I'm starting to get tired of myself.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's the small things

Yesterday I went up to Portland to visit my sister and nephew. My sister had to run some errands and one involved seriously complicated directions so I went with her instead of staying at home with Ryan. After our first errand was completed (picking up Ryan's new motorbike in North Portland!) we headed to Emanuel hospital so my sister could pick up some of Ryan's records.

The motorbike didn't fit perfectly, the gate was ajar a little bit, so my sister wanted me to stay in the car and wait for her. Ryan and I played 'camera' and chatted about life and his new bike. He still has at least a year before he can ride it but he likes to touch the wheel and say biiiiiike.

The records my sister needed cost around $50.00 and she forgot her checkbook at home so I had to write one for her. Once we were done at Emanuel we headed to the bank so my sister could pay me back. While she ran into the bank Ryan and I once again guarded the bike.

I was sitting up front, listening to the radio my sister had left on and thinking about all the housework we still needed to do when we returned home. From the backseat Ryan said "Annee" (he still has a hard time with the g) so I turned around to see what he needed. He was leaning forward in his car seat and holding his hand out. I reached back and my fingers in his palm. He wrapped his hand around my fingers and started caressing my palm with his thumb. I have no idea what was going through his mind as we sat there listening to the radio and holding hands. It was such a simple moment, it lasted for about a minute, but I don't think I will ever forget how calm and at peace I felt.

It's hard for me to believe Ryan will be 3 in September. Soon he won't want to hold his Annee's hand; he'll be too busy with his own independent life. I love that little boy so much; I cannot fathom how much I will care for my own children. Every moment we have with Ryan is precious and I think we are more aware of the hours we spend with him because of his cancer. I cherish each second we have together, but I will remember holding hands with him in my sister's car while a soft song played on the radio forever.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Sad Month

I disappeared for a while there. This is going to be a short post to say I am ready to start writing again. January is a notoriously bad month for me. I get in a funk and I stay in a funk for most of the month. What's funny is every January I wonder why I'm in such a bad mood all the time and why I just want to sleep, sleep, sleep. Year, to year, I conveniently forget how dreadful January is for me.

We did go on a vacation this January which helped me wallow a bit less. The reason for my sad month is something I am going to keep to myself for now. For me January is a time for reflection, a time for remembrance and a time for sadness. Now I have wiped away all my pathetic tears and I am ready for 2009. And I am ready to stop typing January.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Open Mouth - Insert Foot

This past Sunday I made the colossal mistake of saying I wasn't sure I wanted children to my sister when my mother was in my house. I didn't think she was in hearing range, but the conversation (it was more of a lecture, actually) that occurred the following Thursday reminded me that mothers are always in hearing range.

On Thursday I took my mother out to lunch because she was going to drive me to Vancouver, WA to pick up our new car. It's a 2008 Subaru and I am unashamedly in love with it. I took her out to Burgerville because it's local-ish and if you're going to eat fast food you might as well eat the best you can find.

As soon as we sat down my mother said, "Are you sure you don't want to have children?" Oh, Lord I thought. She's been stewing over this since Sunday. That means she's had days to come up with arguments and reasons why I should have children. After that opening volley a 40 minute conversation, of sorts, was had. She did most of the talking while I threw in as much defending as I could. At one point my mother even said, "I'm not telling you what to do - I'm just telling you what to do."

I feel more blindsided than angry. My mother has always been so good about not interfering. She's always let me do what I need to do and if I need her she's always been there. Yes, there have been some judgmental comments over the years, but for the most part she has let me live my life as I see fit.

I know this conversation probably stems from the fact that my sister is moving to Idaho with my nephew for her husband's job. My mother bonded with my nephew from day one. He started sleeping over at her house when he was two weeks old and when he was diagnosed with kidney disease (false diagnosis!) and then cancer she was with my sister every step of the way. She still goes to most hospital visits with them and she still watches him a lot. She has 3 other grandchildren besides him though. I don't see why I need to add to the crowd.

Plus my nephew's illness scares me half to death. My sister once told me the hardest thing she's had to face is that her child could die. When I asked her how she's managed to come to terms with that fact she said, "You just do." My sister has been a mother, a nurse, and a support system for her husband through this journey. I have no idea how she gets up day after day, but she does. The chances of me having a child with cancer are slim, but there is a chance because my nephew and cousin have the same type of cancer and they both got it as babies. When I look at my nephew and think of how sick he's been and how far we still have to go it breaks my heart. I love that little boy so much; I can only imagine how much I would love my own child.

I tried to explain all of the concerns Jonathan and I have about my health. She responded that that should make us try quicker because I may not be able to get pregnant. Being my mother she was quick to bring up my greatest fear.

"You don't want to be the 40-year-old mother dropping your child off at preschool do you?" she asked. Well, of course not! But I am only 25! I want to finish having kids by the time I am 30. Surely I don't have to start today?! Since I am so unsure on the matter I think it's better to wait instead of having a child I don't want.

There's also the matter of the spring of 2008 when my marriage was blown to pieces and I was left standing in the aftermath wondering what the hell had happened. Jonathan and I are doing much, much better now. With the help of friends, family and counseling we've been able to pick up most of the pieces, but I'm still frightened that adding something as stressful as a child to our lives will scatter the pieces all over again. I know we still need time as a couple without children to regain our footing and make sure we're on solid ground. We're so close, but I don't want to rush things.

I already spend so much of my time worrying about whether or not I want to be a mom. I don't need my mother weighing in on the matter. When I feel ready, we will try. And if I can't get pregnant, we will not look into infertility options as my mother suggested. If I am unable to get pregnant I am going to regard it as a sign from my body and the good Lord that it is not meant to happen.

Some days, I tell you. Some days.

We leave for Mt. Hood tomorrow. We rented a cabin near Zig-Zag for a few days and I am going to spend my time not thinking about children. I'm going to enjoy spending time with my husband and the dog (and our new car!). I'm going to read, watch a lot of movies and eat popcorn by the fire. I'm going to spend hours in the hot tub and I am going to sleep a lot.

Friday, January 2, 2009

How exciting!

Our Internet has been spotty for the past two weeks so I've been blogging from work on my lunch break. Fair warning: I've got lots to say.

First off - I watched Mamma Mia New Year's Eve and I LOVED it. It's not a very good movie, but at the same time it's too excellent to watch only once. I wish I would've watched it when my husband wasn't around so I could have the full experience, but I can (and will) watch it again. The DVD even has a sing along option!

I have to admit, I listened to a lot of ABBA in high school and this movie brought some old memories back. My best friend in high school loved the song Dancing Queen so much she wanted someone to wake her up on her 17th birthday with that song. So I did. We jumped on her bed and danced and sang until the song was over. We were both 17 and life was grand and rather uncomplicated. I haven't thought of that moment in YEARS, but as soon as that song started playing it all came rushing back.

One thing I did not like about the movie? Pierce Brosnan should not sing. Ever. The parts where he has to solo are painful and I recommend skipping them.

Jonathan and I are going up to the mountains the 2nd week of January for a much needed vacation. I wish it wouldn't have snowed so much before Christmas because we're both sick of the stuff now, but hopefully our vacation will still be fun. While it would be nice to go somewhere warm I am very, very excited to be going to the mountain. The only problem is that the mountain cabin has a hot tub and I have not bought a bathing suit since 2005. Or maybe 2004. It's been a long time.

I was out shopping for a few things yesterday and on a whim decided to try on a bathing suit. And not just any bathing suit, but a bikini. Well, it wasn't exactly a whim. I think my husband is tired of seeing me in the same bathing suit. But I only wear it once a year, at the most, so it's not like it's worn out.

Now, I have put on a bikini exactly zero times before in my life. I am just not comfortable exposing that much skin to the world. I don't even like V-neck t-shirts because they show a hint of cleavage. I place the blame for my modesty on being raised Baptist.

I was standing in the dressing room, glad no one could see me trying to get into a bikini, when I had a realization: the mystery 8 lbs I have gained this year are sitting on my thighs. I spent 11 months wondering where the hell I had gained the weight and two seconds after stuffing myself into a bikini, I had my answer.

I quickly divested myself of the bikini and got back into my layers of clothing. Let me just say - I LOVE WINTER! No need for skirts, shorts or tank tops. I can pile on 4 or 5 shirts and people don't give me a second glance. I am so glad we are vacationing in a cold spot. The only time I have to put on a bathing suit is if I choose to use the hot tub. I don't have to wear a bathing suit because we're vacationing in the tropics and it's too hot to wear anything else. Thank the Lord for cold weather. I'm already dreading June.

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