Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Yup, our Child. He clops around the house in Dan's size 11 winter boots and 'mugger' black toque and he puts my boots on his hands. He hasn't tripped once. He loves to stomp around the house like this- I'm sure the neighbors downstairs are dancing with glee;-)
Tomorrow we're off to my family's home outside Victoria for the Christmas season. The flights look like they're operating for now:-)
Update on potty-training: R is sleeping through the night DRY. He pees in the toilet the last time at bedtime and then the first time when he wakes up again. Happy Mama= Happy Boy. I still don't put underwear on him at night because we don't want to risk a wet bed. I'll buy a better waterproof matress cover soon. The one we have right now isn't the best quality.
Signing off for 2008! We'll be back on New Years Day 2009.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
When we first started setting Russell on the toilet (we bought him a Disney Cars potty seat) in early November, you could hear the yelling from down the block. He progressed slowly as he realized that when he sat on the potty for two rounds of me singing the Alphabet, he was rewarded with three M & M’s. Long story short? He now can sing the whole alphabet with exception of ‘l-m-n’. I guess it wasn’t all in vain! In the last few weeks, he has been asking to sit on the potty so he could get the candy reward. Time for step #2.
Last Thursday and Friday, I cleared my calendar to attempt potty training. The first day, we had three puddles on the floor and one successful pee in the toilet. Friday, we had two puddles and two pees in the toilet. Saturday, one pee, one poop (the rest in the diaper since we were out and about).
I think we have a system going. Russell tends to drink continually throughout the day, totting his milk and water cups around with him, so I have to put him on the potty once an hour to pee. If he doesn’t pee on that hour-mark, I put him back in 30 minutes and he will do it then. He doesn’t mind doing the poops, either, for which I was worried, since some kids are scared of that, but Russell likes to flush the toilet so it is a win-win for both of us;-)
I am proud of our little guy in his journey so far. With the holiday travels coming up next week (we fly to B.C. from the 24th- 1st), I don’t want to put him back in diapers and/or pull-ups since he’ll get used to peeing in his pants again, but I can’t see myself hauling around a red potty seat everywhere we go, either. We’ll see, I guess. I also don’t want to be dealing with wet pants and lots of laundry.
The last concern I have is the extent of peeing during the night. Russell’s diapers weigh no less than 3lbs in the morning. Alysun told me that the kids eventually learn to hold it during the night, so here’s hoping that he’ll catch on. Even when I used cloth diapers on Russell, I would put a disposable on him at night because of the large amount of pee.
And, lastly, speaking of cloth diapers… When I first did the math in 2005 and purchased the Kushies, I figured we’d save $2500 using them for 2 ½ years, for which I did. What happened to the extra money? Well, a fraction of that is sitting in my dining room area in the form of an elliptical machine. Yup. All 150lbs of it. I recently cancelled my gym membership (which I really enjoyed) since I no longer have childcare for Russell now that Dan's on a regular work schedule. Dan himself has been complaining of feeling lethargic. This way, we can both get some exercise.
I love elliptical but like any tool, it is only useful if it’s used;-) So here’s to a healthier new year!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
We were raised with the knowledge that Santa was only an imaginary man and a fun idea for the Christmas season. We knew from Day 1 that toys came from the grandparents. It was a little hard to hide that fact, when we greedily circled and underlined every toy we wanted in the Sears Toy catalogue before handing the catalogue back to my grandparents. For me, it was the bright-pink Barbie items. I never did get a real Barbie car or an official Barbie horse, but that is another blog entry for another day;-)
The Christmas I remember most vividly was the year I wanted The Heart Family’s playground, complete with slide and swing and play-house. I must have been 8 or 9 years old at the time. We were celebrating the day at my grandparents’ house in Victoria. We had finished unwrapping all the gifts and I was sorely disappointed. I don’t know what happened next, but all of a sudden, my Grandma remembered one gift hidden in the laundry room. Yes, the box was big, and it was mine. I still have the playground, now stored away at my parents’ house with all the other Barbie items I so fondly played with for years.
I have no problem with the idea of Santa but Russell will be raised as I was. I want him to know and appreciate the real story of Bishop Nicholas and the giving spirit he had and a faith that caused him to be imprisoned. I want Russell to know that Christmas is a celebration of Christ’s birth and the gift He was to us as mankind. I am not into the idea of “Happy Birthday Jesus” (sorry if you are, but I’m just saying). I think it is a silly but harmless idea. I just want Russell to know and worship and follow Christ as our Lord and not as a baby-image.
It is such an honor to have the privilege to raise our son. I hope that as the years pass, as a little family unit, we can adopt traditions to teach Russell what it is to serve others and to give to the less fortunate. I’m excited for each year that passes and the opportunities it will bring!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Sending Christmas cards is an odd thing for me.
There is 1) the card. Not too serious, but not 'Santa-like.'
Then there is 2) the family picure. Yaahhh... not this year. It was too much to co-ordinate. My goal is to have Russell's third year pictures taken in January and that is enough for me at this point. Maybe next year. Just reuse the picture I sent last year for now...
then 3) the Merry-Christmas-and-what-I-did-with-my-life-this-past-year-letter (this is enclosed in the cards that I send to relations that don't read our blog)
and 4) the trip to the post office where I buy an assortment of stamps for the US, Canada, and a few for overseas (England and Australia this year). I know I could buy these online but it just is part of my Christmas season to stand in line to buy stamps. Really, I don't mind.
and the final decision, 5) who to send cards to. I've kept a list each year of the cards we send out and the cards we receive. The list has changed over the years of our marriage... There are university friends who've fallen by the wayside, and camp acquaintances that no longer keep in touch. There are 'Facebook'-only friends who I've known since 1st grade, and people at church who only know us by name. These are all "no carders."
Then, there are the yearly carders: long-time family friends, and friends whose shoulder I cry on from time to time, friends that call out of the blue, and friends that even over the hundreds of miles, have dedicated themselves to prayer and encouragement. You know who you are!
I don't like to edit my Christmas-card list but at the same time, I don't want to pester non-intimate relationships with card, either, and make them feel like they should respond. I really enjoy sending and receiving Christmas cards, so if you haven't received a card in the past year or so, and are reading this blog, just e-mail me your address, and I'll post one in the mail:-)
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
I remember as a child, saying, "I love needles." I had no idea why I used to say that, except for the attention that it drew. As a child, I also wanted to grow up and be a part of the medical profession, except now instead of being the doctor, I'm the patient. Ironic.
The RE only prescribed 30mg/0.3ml/day and not a higher dosage (some woman take 40mg/x2 day) because I don't have any clotting issues. Taking the Lovenox is the last stop on this journey before we're off to the Voo-Doo doctors down in Los Gatos at the immunology clinic. I'll start the shots after the New Year sometime. Thankfully, the insurance covers the cost with exception of a $50 co-pay. I've been in contact with a few women online that have taken Lovenox and have since carried to term, so I am hopeful that there is a chance for us.
To be honest, I'm not looking forward to taking the daily shots but we are realistic at this point that I won't have another child without some sort of medical intervention. I'm excited to give this drug a chance and maybe, maybe, get a baby in the mix, too.
Monday, December 01, 2008
I was trying to remember where I spent my 20's birthdays. Next year will be the big 3-0 and a new decade.
- age 20, 21, 22: studying for chemistry exams in Victoria
- age 23: first year in San Diego. Dan took me on a dinner cruise on San Diego Bay
- age 24: Dan was deployed. Had birthday with friends at the San Diego Cheesecake Factory.
- age 25: first year in Bay area. Dan and I went to a nice restaurant, but the staff didn't show up for work, so dinner took 3hrs to cook and serve. Other patrons were actually leaving before their meals were cooked because it took so long!
- age 26: very pregnant with Russell. Gramps had just died two days previous. We ate a quiet dinner in Half Moon Bay.
- age 27: dinner with three other couples in Palo Alto at the Fish Market.
- age 28: attended Dan's work party. Ritzy restaurant? check. Nice food? check. Free evening? check!! Spent a weekend with April in San Diego at the Del. Ahhhh.
- age 29: night out with the girls. Dinner with Dan and Russell tonight.
I think, like everything else in life, birthdays evolve. As children, we anticipate birthdays for weeks leading up to the special day. As a teen, birthdays mean more freedoms, like driver's licenses and drinking ages. As grown adults, birthdays mean more family time and reflecting over the past year's activities and events. This was the first year I felt a little reluctant for turning another year older because of the baby thing, but who knows? To God, time is but a whisper in the wind. I know I am so blessed and the 20's have been good. I just know the 30's will be even better!
Thank-you to all my family and friends for the cards and notes:-) I know I am loved.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Russell is in between tears in this picture. After the fire engine was turned on and the horn was honked, he was too scared to go near it. In this picture, I am forcing him to sit down with me for at least one picture. Someday, he'll thank me;-)
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
April left on Monday afternoon. Russell still doesn't understand the comings and goings of the world and kept asking, "Where's Miss April?" We miss you, April! Hopefully, I can get in another girls' weekend with her next year sometime.
This just makes me smile. Russell loves putting on my sunglasses. He looks even cuter when he puts his cap on backwards. Lil' gangster.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
Sunday, November 02, 2008
On Wednesday night, I met a new friend who I connected with on an online January '06 Mom's group. Beth is a Christian woman who shares many of the same interests and it was fun to meet in person:-)
After a quick stop at the ice-cream shop (thanks, Beth:-), we said our good-byes and left to pick Dan up from the hotel.
Any time that Dan and I travel, whether within the state or outside of the state, we ponder, "could we live here?" Austin is a great city although traffic is terrible because of the influx of California-ites that have moved into town. It is difficult to think of leaving the West Coast. Our whole lives are here. I guess just seeing the brand-new 4bd/2ba houses for $200k really tempt us though...
Monday, October 27, 2008
The 49ers have expressed interest in Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a possible candidate for team president, NFL.com reported.
"If she's interested in talking to us, I'm interested in talking to her," one high-ranking 49ers official told NFL.com. Rice has expressed a desire to be an NFL team president as recently as last week, according to the report.
Rice has already indicated that she will return to Stanford in January, a school where she served as provost from 1993-99, which would put her in the northern California area.
Rice has a long and documented interest in football, and has often been asked football questions during otherwise political interviews.
In light of Condoleezza Rice moving back to Stanford, guess where I'm going to be taking Russell to play during the lunch hour? I'd love to meet her one day! (April, you can scout with me;-)
So, tomorrow, the little man and myself will be in route as well. Dan called last night to let us know there was an indoor pool so Russell is very excited and already has his swimsuit out. Let's see if he actually uses it!
I plan to visit my Camp Tejas friend, Linda, and new friend Beth. I really want to visit two friends in Houston as well but since the drive each way to Houston is 3hrs, it seems a little much to squish into a two-day-trip. Hmm. We'll see. I wouldn't think about it twice if I was a single woman without a toddler in the back seat. Texas is a beautiful state to 'roadtrip' through and I really enjoyed the two summers I worked there (April-August, 2000 and 2001).
Back next week...
Friday, October 24, 2008
The concert last night was part of a 20-city tour celebrating the Lead Me On Tour/Album of 1988. Ahh. 1988. Twenty years ago. Where was I? Fourth grade and an awkward nine-year-old who knew absolultely nothing about the Christian music world. At one point, our family had visited my 'cool' (read: young, single, beautiful, fun) aunt and I came across an Amy Grant cassette (Unguarded) and I asked her who the woman was on the front cover. I don't even remember how old I was at that point but it was after 1985 but before CD's were produced (1990).
I first discovered that Christian music existed during the Christmas of 1992 when my parents bought me a single-cassette player/radio. Scanning the FM range I found KLYN, the Christian station out of Bellingham, WA. For me, it marked the beginning of my teenage years in more ways that one. I had just turned 13 and I was learning quickly that my world was quite small. The world of Christian music allowed me a place to dream of travelling, music, and the life of stardom- all under the safe cover of loving God. What more could you want? I read the CCM magazines and only dreamt of the concerts I could attend. There were little to none in Victoria and few even in Vancouver, and the closest American city was Seattle. How was I to get to Seattle without time, money, and a driver's license?
In December of 1994, KLYN was promoting the upcoming Amy Grant concert (House of Love Tour) in Vancouver, BC. It was a rare opportunity for them to promote such an artist. There was a special family pack of tickets being sold for $55/4 tickets. And I wanted to go. Boy, did I give my parents grief. Looking back, I was sure a brat about it. I sulked and complained and all the rest. Besides, the concert was a Sunday night. School was the next day. How was that work out?
Soon, Christmas rolled around. We had gathered in the living room when there was a knock on the door. A delivery man (FedEx?) delivered a large, stiff envelope that my dad handed to me in turn. I opened it. There, in my hand, were four Amy Grant tickets. Guilt overwhelmed me because of my behavior but I don't think it last long... I was going to my first big concert (my first concert was David Meece in Victoria in November '94, the month previous. My dad was wonderful and took me to that concert).
I don't remember too much now, but I know that my sister, Candice and I took the ferry to Vancouver and my Aunt Annette took us to the concert. We parked in the back alley behind the Pacific Coliseum and paid some guy $5 for the parking space. The concert was all I imagined and more. I later mailed my ticket stubs to Nashville in hopes that Amy Grant and Gary Chapman would sign them. They did, and the ticket is a blast-from-the-past because they have divorced since that time.
In talking with Dan last night, he agreed with me as well that the Christian music industry was his life-line in high-school, when everyone else was listening to secular music, he felt like he had an outlet as well. He like Margaret Becker, the Newsboys, and Stryper.
I think it helped me feel cool and self-assured, knowing I was listening to these artists like Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Margaret Becker, and the rest of the 1980-early '90's rollovers. By the end of the '90's, the Christian music world had exploded into the music it is today... more praise/repetitious music and unambiguous. I returned from camp the summer of 1998 to find that KLYN had strictly switched to a praise format and at that time, I moved my dial over to the country station and never switched back. I've lost touch with the industry now with exception of the big names like Chris Tomlin and Matt Redmond. To me, the 1980's and 1990's will always be my Christian music era.
The music took us back to another time but when all was said and done, we drove home to pick up Russell from being babysat. Memories are wonderful but today is today, and it too, is a precious time.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
The apples were probably as organic as could be but at the price of $1.25/lb, I only bought a small bag. I gave Russell the paper bag and he picked up the apples off the ground (yes, bruised, wormy, rotten) and put them in the bag. Once the bag was full, he dumped it and picked up more apples. He was so happy and kept saying, "George picks apples, Russell like George," (in reference to the episode where Curious George goes apple picking).
These boys are only 17 days apart. The middle child was actually born the day after Russell in the same hospital, just across the hallway:-)
Once the picking was wrapping up, I convinced Russell to dump his 'ground-picked' apples once more and to help me pick 'new' apples from the tree. Then, a good tumble on the ground was in order.
I really appreciate the effort the other women make in getting together for play-dates. Honestly, the dates are more for the moms to have some adult talk-time. It takes time to grow friendships and setting time aside isn't always easy but it is so worthwhile when all is said and done.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Once the belief that a man can marry another man, and a woman marry a woman is endorsed legally, what stops the next bill from allowing three men to marry? If they're all in love, what is then the true definition of marriage?
This is a link for a 6.49 minute web video testifying the results of the legislation of gay marriage in Massachusetts. Already, James Dobson can not broadcast anti-homosexual programs in Canada and I fear this will soon be true in the United States. For those in California, we must vote yes on 8.
It had been a few years since I read it last and the book provided food for my soul and encouragement for my heart. The chapter entitled, The Desert of Loss, really hit home and the introduction of the character Acceptance-With-Joy was bittersweet.
The sequel is just as powerful. I have only begun to reread it, but essentially, it is the allegorical tale that "personifies unhappy, tormenting attitudes of the mind, heart and temperament" and how these "can be transformed into their exact opposites and can therefore produce in us the loveliest of all qualities." (Hurnard) It is the tale of the Fruit of the Spirit.
To share a little from the second chapter which talks about the Fruit of Love, Grace-and-Glory reflects:
"It is happy to love and healthy, too. It is utter misery to withhold love and to live only and always for oneself alone. I see that it is exactly as He says. Love must express itself in giving; must find a way to become one with others, just as He found a way to give His own life to us and thereby to become one with us! And all the misery down there in the valley is because the inhabitants are breaking this law of their existence without realizing it."
The chapter caused me to reflect on the most well known verse of the Bible, "For God so loved the world that He gave..." I know that in my own life, it has been the giving of one's self that has shown love to me: the affection/attention of my parents, the devotion of my husband, the kisses from my son. Powerful.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Yes, it is that time of the year... brisk, cool days, fall colours on the trees, and the unveiling of the winter wardrobe. And. Desserts. Lots of yummy desserts. From Halloween candy to pumpkin cheesecake (pictured above. Thanks, Martha!) and gingerbread, it is coming.
In the past, I've spent the ten weeks from October to January gaining the lovely pounds and then I've spent the next forty trying to lose and then maintain. You do the math. Is it worth it? (Well... cough, cough, I mean no!) I've always struggled to keep the weight off since I don't have the 'eat-whatever-you-want-whenever' genes.
We've started to try and curb the dessert fest early by only making baked goods on Fridays and then allowing the left-overs to be the only sweets for the weekend (fruit excluded, of course). I asked Dan to back me up on this one since I like to use him as a great excuse to bake (food= love, right?) If you were to look at my favorite recipes, nine out of ten would be desserts. The other few are vegatable dishes with cheese sauces. Eek.
So, that is my goal this fall/winter. Try and find more vegatable recipes (without cheese sauce) and not to consume too many empty calories (how can they be empty when they seem so heavy later?). Watching Russell's consumption of sugar has weighed on my mind as well, since he eats what we eat. I must admit, it is a lot harder to eat a garden salad in the winter time than the summer. Steamed veggies, here we come!
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
This October marks one year of miscarriage bloodwork for me. Most doctors don't start worrying about the cause of miscarriage until you've experience three consecutive losses. Russell knows the lab as the place where he gets free stickers so he doesn't mind going along with me. I usually get my bloodwork taken from my left arm because I've been told I have nice veins in that arm (I'll take any compliments I can get;-) In the last few months, I've started alternating arms just to give each vein a little resbit.
My latest diagnosis from the OB and RE was elevated anti-thryoid antibodies. Even though my thyroid is in the normal range, my RE put me on levo.thyroxine to try and regulate the antibodies. The side effect? Hair loss. Great. So, in the last two weeks I've been taking this medication, my hairbrush has been full in the mornings. Supposedly, the side effect is temporary until the hormone levels stabilize. I called my RE and she said to wait it out a little longer and as long as there were no clumps of hair being lost, I should be okay. For the first time in almost two years, infertility is no longer on the top of my stress list but now, hair loss. (Dan can't tell I've lost more hair than normal, so I don't look sick or anything.) The thyroid anti-bodies haven't been proven to cause miscarriage but in my case, it couldn't hurt to treat it, either.
I don't know where we'll be next October in this journey. Russell will be almost 4 years old and eligible for preschool. If he is our only child, I don't think I could send him off at such a young age. Besides, for $250/month I could buy a lot of art supplies for him to use at home.
I'm looking forward to this month. We hope to go to Gilroy Gardens (childrens non-profit play place) and see the Halloween/fall displays. The cooler weather will allow us to enjoy Gilroy a little better as it tends to be quite hot there during the summer. Dan will be in Austin, TX, for the last week of the month for technical training. We'll miss him a lot but I like that he gets to expand his world and be challenged.
That's all for now.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Yours truly. The water was really nice and it would have been fun to have a few friends to enjoy the water with me. Dan and Russell are not big water/swimmer/ocean people;-)
California natives: the pelicans. There were hundrends of these birds flying and diving continually.
Dan with his coffee and Russell with his milk and Cheerios. Since Russell was under the weather (read: grouchy, whiny), he wasn't into exploring the locals towns with us. We stayed close to the hotel and relaxed on the beach.
On Wednesday morning, we packed up and returned home. Russell didn't realize we were going home (I wonder where he thought we were going??) until we reached our neighborhood and then he shouted, "No go home! No go home! Room! Room!" (for his hotel room). Ahh. Welcome home!