Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Packing Tips...

Tip #1: Wear all that you possibly can so that you can fit more into the suitcase.

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

Potty Training, the Beginning

Well, for the first time ever, I can say that Russell is still wearing the underwear that I put on him at 7:30am this morning. And it is still clean and dry.

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

Santa Who?

This morning, Russell was playing with a hat box that my mother-in-law sent to us containing Christmas gifts (gifts were put away, already). The box had a vintage/classic looking Santa on the front, similar to the picture above. I asked Russell who was the man on the box. He said Noah. I had to laugh. He makes me proud.

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

Christmas Cards

Yup, it's that time! The once-a-year phenomenon that sends the postmen into a frenzy... the delivery of Christmas cards. The above card isn't what we're sending out but it was a cute one I saw online. Actually, we're sending out two different cards this year because I started using a box I bought last year on the after-Christmas sales but I ran out and realized I didn't buy as many as I had thought.

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:-)

Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Random Goings On

It's been quiet around here, hense the lack of blog posts. I haven't been very inspired with any blogging ideas so you are stuck with pictures of The Kid. Today, as I was preparing for play-group, I noticed a cat on my back porch (we are not a ground unit so this is unusual). We've been here three years and this was a first. The cat looked friendly, so I allowed Russell to go on the back porch and play with the cat. The cat stayed around for about 45 minutes before it jumped down and off it went.

Russell likes to imitate his companion, Curious George, so he wears his caps, etc. backwards. The glasses are a new addition since he's played with mine since summer. It is really is cute and we get lots of smiles from the older ladies when we're in town. Russell loves to play in the sink with the water and can reach quite a lot when he is standing on his stool.
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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Not What We Had Planned... but That's Okay

Traditionally at this time of the year, UPS/FedEx is delivering Christmas goodies that we have so excitedly purchased online. No overcrowded malls, no grumpy shoppers, no chasing Russell down the escalators. This year, it has been a little different. We've scaled back the purchasing of gifts and instead have tried to increase charitable giving because there is so much need in the communities near and far. And, instead of gifts being delivered, this month the delivery is medications.

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

Birthday Blatherings

Last night, I went out to celebrate my birthday with six of my friends from this area:-) It was so nice to have talk time and relaxation. The evening was a mild 60F and very Christmasy with the neighborhoods showing off their seasonal lights. Thank-you, girls, for the friendship!

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.