Monday, March 30, 2009

It's like high school all over again.

I took Roman to a birthday party at the bowling alley on Sunday and decided to stay (in the bar) and grade papers (with Bud Light). When I was finished and chatting with the other parents who stuck around, it struck me - they are all older than me. I consulted with Doug about this, thinking I was just feeling young, but he agreed - all Roman's friends have older siblings. We must be at the end (or beginning, I suppose) of a cycle. Sometimes I see it in teaching - I get a lot of siblings in a particular class, for example. But all the parents I run into I would estimate a good 4 years or so older than me.

In thinking about the parents of Roman's friends, it's a weird reaction I have. They seem so natural at this kid-raising stuff. They know the ins and outs of the elementary school, of how to coordinate 16 kids at a birthday party, how to get both their kids to follow directions at the same time. It makes me parent-jealous at times, and I feel like I'm back in high school comparing myself to the other kids. The ones who seem to have it "together," who seem to have everything going for them and aren't worried or stressed at all. I feel like I'm fumbling through this child-raising thing and am lucky to even get Roman to a birthday party with a present in hand.

I won't even get into the overall presentation of some moms (cute yoga pants or exercise outfit because they somehow found time to go to the gym), or how I feel dowdy and uninteresting next to them. Or the times I do feel put together, it's because I have spent my day going from work-school to meeting to school-work and have completely sidelined my family, only to run into the mom in the parking lot who just baked 30 cupcakes & put together goody bags for every child, after helping out with the book fair or something.

Well, I did tell Doug when we married that I was never ever going to be that mom who has to "put on her face" before she puts the sweatshirt & jeans on to go to the Saturday soccer game. And luckily, I have encountered a few moms like me, too. I just wish there were a few more.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Well, you can't tell in this photo, but he is! On Wednesday he took a couple steps between tv & push-toy, and Roman and I were both witness! Today he's been taking anywhere between 3-5 steps between objects in our house, and daycare reports he's been taking steps around there, too. This means many things, namely:

Faster traveling, so we have to move Roman's toys faster.
We need to buy him a good pair of shoes.
He will begin to visit the Toddler room at daycare next week.

So exciting! Isn't it amazing, too, that Wednesday was his due date? Developmentally he's a year old! Will try very hard to get a picture or better yet, video, this weekend.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Today is a day where I thank God that my life, albeit busy, is not BUSY. I am not moving across the country, nor planning a move to a big city. I did not just add another child to my family. I have not become unemployed from my dream job.

Thank God. While I seem to be away most evenings lately, and up late doing work the rest of the evenings, and sometimes both combined - no big things here. Did I mention that God is good?

*I hope the more personal blogs I linked to don't mind - I've been readers of them all for quite awhile now!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hell week

I've never been there, and hope I never will, but this week's been pretty close to what I imagine my personal hell would be... right down to the "tricked you!" weather. Throw another meeting my way this week and I will probably fall apart (all the way). Suffice it to say, it won't end until about Sunday night. Even though some things are good, it's just... busy.

Tomorrow night is our first swim meet of the season. It's been a disaster this week. Lineup needed lots of little tweaks, then it wouldn't load in the computer today, and on top of that - 2 kids quit, out of the blue. Another teammate told me. Two more swimmers down with some sort of strep/cold thing. And our team? Well, let's say I'm not thinking I'll end up thrown into the water in celebration after the last meet.

On top of that, just the little things of life - meetings, lots of emails, a couple cards to send out, school planning, grading papers, center time at Roman's kindergarten, Ro's visit to the doctor, Charlie's visit to the doctor, blah blah blah.... we've got a babysitter lined up for Friday night to go out with the Gen-X group from church (with Roman), and then later on an adults-only visit to a pub. But still, it's another night not at home...

Anyway, as alluded to, both Ro and Charlie had dr visits this week. Charlie had his checkup for his tubes. All is well, they look great and so do the ears. We did finally see what they meant about liquid "pouring" out his ears. It actually did, starting Tuesday. He's had the sniffles and is on antibiotics because of the pinkeye, but wax actually dripped out of his ear all Tuesday and part of today. I actually had to wipe it up with a Kleenex, and then again an hour later because it was dribbling down his earlobe. Gross, really. Poor guy.

And Roman had his almost-6-year-old well-visit. No shots until he's 11 or something, so he's much relieved. He is 41 lbs and 46 inches tall. All healthy, good vision, and we did get a referral to an orthopedic doctor to check out his feet as he is constantly complaining in the evenings of painful arches. Orthotic inserts seem to help, so we will have to get him examined to confirm it's "flat feet" or if something else is going on. No rush, though.

Anyway, this is enough of a breather. I still have to load the updated meet onto a zip drive, write an email to a parent, pack Roman's lunch, pack a snack for me, clothes for the meet, and...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Appreciating Roman

picture Fall 2007: but he's so darn cute!

I spent the weekend scrapbooking, which is my favorite thing to do. Besides making new memories, of course. Got 32 pages done, as well as 4 weeks' worth of my Project 365. I scrapped pictures from 2007 and 2008, which was fun - whatever I felt like doing. A lot that I feel need to be in a book - those that bring about a lot of detailed memory or emotion - I didn't do, because I would have to concentrate on the journaling and you just can't do that with your bestest friends & your mom surrounding you, chatting. I did do one or two like that, though.

Anyway, I was reflecting a lot about Roman through Charlie. I did a lot of photos of Charlie just so he can start to have a presence in the photo albums. And I was thinking that a lot of what Charlie is doing now is about where Roman was when he came home with us. For example, Charlie is just starting to grab our hands when we're sitting down, wanting us to finger-walk with him. Roman used to do that so much, we got to hiding our hands at times because we were tired of walking him!

I wish sometimes that Roman was our second child, so we understood him better as a baby. I see things that Charlie is doing that Roman never did - sit on our laps for an extended period of time, show interest in rolling or throwing balls, exploring plugs or electrical sockets or what have you - and I realize just how much of a stunted first 9 months Roman had. Being able to provide a safe, loving home for Charlie (and seeing the benefits of it) makes me ache just that much more for Roman & what he lost. It's hard for me sometimes to accept Roman "as is" and not wish that things could have been different for him, or even if we had done things different. He is who he is through his experiences, the parts I love about him and the parts that I would like to change - many basic personality or character traits have developed because of his early months.

We move on from here, though, wiser parents. The "talking doctor" has assisted us in reevaluating our parenting and approach with Roman based on his needs, and while we're still exploring & researching other avenues, I believe I have seen quite a behavioral change in Roman since implementing a new discipline style 3 weeks ago. For the good. There's a lot less whining and a lot less yelling going on in our house. Frustration level on all parts has gone down, too, though there is always room for improvement. And lucky for Charlie, while we're learning to appreciate Roman because of Charlie's babyhood, Charlie will reap the benefits because of Roman's challenges - we'll be a stronger, better family.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sickness again!

Poor Charlie! This time it's conjunctivitis, or bacterial pink-eye, whatever you'd like to call it. We call it "green boogers oozing from his eyes." Gross, really. Poor guy had symptoms of a cold and woke up this morning with his right eye all swollen and some discharge. I warned Doug he may get a call - sure enough, Charlie awoke from his morning nap with a fever (103 at the ped.) and eyes all crusty. Doug took him in to the dr. and was given a prescription eye drop which Charlie HATES. 3 drops each eye, 3x a day for 8 days. Charlie, btw, weighs 23.3 pounds now!

On top of that, dr. said could probably turn into a sinus infection. If we see goo coming from ears or nose, we start amoxicillin. Awesome. Luckily, after 24 hours of eye drops he can go back to daycare, so Mama's at home caring for the baby tomorrow (and hopefully getting some papers graded!).

The rest of us have to wash our hands religiously for the next 24 hours to make sure we don't contract it as pink-eye is apparently highly contagious. Roman has never had it in his life, and we certainly don't want to start now!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

When life unhappily surprises you.

Last week was a tough week, emotionally speaking. Not even me directly, but I took events really hard and personally. A woman at church lost her 23-year-old son Wednesday morning, and it turns out it was a drug overdose. Then, horribly, her second son committed suicide by overdose just 12 hours later. Two sons, 12 hours. I can't even fathom it. Not to mention the fact that drugs were involved with both, and who wants to face that as well? The funerals were today.

The same day I heard of that, I received an email from our counselors at school - an eighth grade student's father died in a car crash on his way to work. The mom was visited by police at 8:30am that morning, and after calming down had to come get her only child out of school and tell her the news. Still thinking about that starts my tears flowing. A normal day, like every day. But not so normal. This has struck me so close to home that I am upset just thinking about what that mother has gone through.

The two incidents have underlined my pastor's series for Lent, ironically -"What if you had 30 days to live?" The idea, of course, is that Jesus knew he had less than 30 days to live, and what examples did he live in those last days? All of this put together has really shaken Doug's and my complacence (sp?), which is good. Just so sad that it takes tragedy to make us wake up and look around.

Hopefully we can start restructuring our life so we live this oh-so-true statement in the sermon today, but one that I couldn't fully grasp until this week: "The only day you are guaranteed by God is today. Today is the day the Lord has made. Rejoice & be glad in it." Pastor Steve preached to stop waiting "until..." and to live passionately now. We will be better at it.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Cool things.

Also: Doug. Downloading digital scrapbook kits that I can't wait to use. Having an afternoon to catch up on things. Knowing that I'll have a clean house tomorrow after the afternoon spent catching up on things.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Just a quick check-in

Swim season has started, and I am so glad to be back. Missed out last year due to Charlie. We have 16 high-school helpers which just boggles my mind - they are all former members, most on the high school team, and they want to help. Some get community service, others are just doing it because "it's fun," they tell me. I am in love with the smell of chlorine again. Oh, how I've missed it. I took a picture of the pool Monday, all calm water and backstroke flags and lane markers... but it's still on the camera. So I'll have to wax poetic about it another day.

I do, however, have portraits of Charlie that I have scanned in because I refuse to pay 12.50 a sheet to have my own copies. And it's too bad I won't pay it, because they are REALLY adorable this time around. Boys are doing great, we're all getting back into the swing of both parents being employed and both kids at their regular places of care. We've only had 2 weeks like this since January.

Isn't this crayon background the cutest you've ever seen? Charlie, one year old.