Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Ring Thing

Okay, sistas (and rob), I'm about to confess something big. I lost my wedding and engagement rings. Ackkkkkkkkkkkk!!!! It makes it feel more real, somehow, when I say it out loud and even MORE real when I write it down.
I'm not a big one for being attached to objects, and I'm not much for fancy jewellery. I just think that people are beautiful the way they are, and don't need much fancying up. But these rings meant more to me than simply being pretty objects that fancy up my hand. I really really love them! Brent designed the engagement ring and had it made, and it was in the shape of a tulip, which is my favourite flower. We have insurance and for a deductable it can be replaced, but I want the rings that were used at my wedding, you know? They have incredible sentimental value for me. I feel sick that they are gone, from carelessness.

It seems silly when there is so much actual tragedy going on in the world, but could you pray that I find them? Maybe some prayers will augment my search efforts...
I know it's silly. I know it. But I feel aweful that I lost two such important things! Amongst the few objects that I own which I consider irreplaceable!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


The other day I was pumping some momma milk for Matthew (mmm). Riley looked over, saw my breast out and working, yet not at his disposal, and he protested. "Uhhh! Uhhh! Dyadyadyadya..." he says, and he makes his milk hungry face. And he makes his way over to where I'm sitting, and wants to nurse. But my boob is busy, darlin'! He was so funny, like he wasn't that hungry but if the boob was out, he was darn well getting some! And not sharing!! It was like he KNEW I was pumping and giving his milk away to his brother! Lol! I let him nurse as long as he stood up for it, and then I thought to myself, "My mom would LOVE a picture of this!" Ayden kindly took some pix. I considered not posting because they DO show my boobs, but frankly I just don't really care all that much. At this point everyone's seen my boobs anyways, since I breastfeed everywhere, so what's a few more? :D
If you're offended, don't look.
If you are the ONE guy who follows my blog, you've seen me breastfeed before so I'm sure you are okay with some breastfeeding pictures, but if you don't want to see my boobs, you don't have to look (hi rob!). Here you go! Hilarious! [and yes, I do have enormous breasts, and no I'm not proud of them. They are a pain in the ass. Or the back. Whichever. They are an F cup size, which is way beyond attractive, if you ask me, and delving into the realm of impossibly large...I have dreams of one day waking up to normal sized breasts that I can shop in a normal, non-plus-sized lingere store for, but alas it is not to be...]

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It is tulip festival season again!

Today we went to Washington for our annual trek to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Here are some pix for your perusal. I LOVE this tradition of ours--since we met we have only missed one year, when I was VERY pregnant with Ayden. Here is all five of us last year:

And here we are this year:

We had a fabulous day [Ayden skipped school for it], good times had by all, and especially good and nostalgic times for mommy...
Time to get painting again...

The Clothing thing

I have an intense attachment to my babies' infant clothing. This continued for several years with Ayden's clothing, especially his favourites. But then, once Ayden wore them for a year or so and outgrew them they went directly into Matthew's drawer, and he is so small that some of those clothes he's still wearing. So some of these clothes have been in active circulation for about four years now. I am SO SICK of these clothes! Oh my gosh! Clothes I used to think were so cute I'm now tempted to throw in the garbage! Mostly these are shirts. Pants wear out after 2 boys, but shirts last and last...
I just went through their piles of clothes and donated a bunch of stuff Matthew was outgrowing. I just couldn't see it through another kid. I'm sorry. Bye bye, stuff. Good riddance. Thanks for being cute, and withstanding four years of little boy roughness.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The noise thing

I have been mulling this fact over for awhile and wanted to share it with you, as I find it unusual. I'm sure there are others like me out there, but I think it is unusual. I am very noise sensitive. I LOOOOOOVE silence. LOVE it. Crave it. Seek it out. I can't decide exactly where this comes from, but it has always been true of me. In fact I think my parents are the same way, so perhaps I'm not so unusual now that I think about it!
I've always been a bit of a dork when it comes to music, which all my peers seem to love and spend hours mucking around in, and have millions of random trivia facts memorized regarding styles, genres, composers, performers, specific concerts, and etc. I have a really hard time remembering the names of my favourite musicians. And actors. And world leaders. I believe this is because (a) I'm just bad with names and titles and stuff, and (b) I'm a visual person--if I have just a name but no face, I have a really hard time remembering a name. Anyways, part of the reason I'm a music dork is because of this inability of mine to memorize names, styles, genres, composers, performers, and etc, and another part of the reason is that I don't listen to music very often. I like music. I really like music. I love my favourite bands passionately, and I think music is the modern day poetry. But I like silence SO MUCH MORE.
Now that I have kids, my 'silence quota' is always empty. ALWAYS. Especially with my Matthew, who approaches life at top volume, top speed, and top velocity. So when i drive in the car by myself, do I put the radio on? Or my ipod? Or a CD? Are you KIDDING ME???? I gleefully push the 'off' button [because my husband is NOT a music dork, and always has something playing when he drives] and sigh with happiness. Silencia. My favourite.
I think this really affected me when we adopted Matthew. Suddenly, Mr. Top Volume arrives, and he and Ayden thought it really quite funny to have screaming contests several times a day. Their favourite location for screaming contests was in the van, when I was trapped in close proximity with no possible recourse for disciplining them. I took to turning the radio up so loud it distorted just to drown out the screaming a TINY BIT. Every day. Then add to that the screaming involved in all the crying Matthew was doing, and there was this drone of noise that ratcheted up my stress without my really realizing it. Because I did not know this noise thing about myself quite yet. Then add to THAT, the fact that I'm even more noise sensitive when I'm sick, and I was sick CONSTANTLY that first winter, because Matthew was sick constantly and sneezing his sicko germs in my face all the time (poor baby), and you have yourself a recipe for craziness.
The times I've felt most overwhelmed since Riley's birth have been times when my ears were ringing from his crying. He cries so infrequently and I'm SO grateful for this, I really am; but when it has happened and I'm alone with all three of my children, I have felt like I was losing my mind. Like, ALL I could think about was HOW TO MAKE THE NOISE STOP. These few occasions have led me to this realization of the noise thing. And led me to have more empathy for myself of three years ago, slogging around in the afterbirth of adoption and wondering why I was feeling so horrible and impatient and angry, when I didn't realize how much the noise affected me.
Granted, noise is something one can increase their threshold for, and I certainly have as a mom. And I've learned ways of coping with the noise, and ways of distracting the boys when they pump up the volume (it helps that they are older now and are able to understand the 'when we get home' consequences). So that is good. I just wanted to share this insight I've learned about myself over this past few months, and to share that I think it is interesting. And to share how grateful I am that God took this characteristic into account when he gave me Riley, my easy going, happy go lucky, quiet child. He can screech like a Nazgul when the spirit moves him, but most of the time he is either quiet or giggling.
Smooches to God for that one.
Nice work.

# 4 is on the table

I know I've discussed my emphatic feelings regarding only wanting three children since Riley was born. Well, really only since he was a few months old, because for the first few months all I wanted to do was crawl back into my birth experience and do it again. But since the gloomy weather started up and my anxiety disorder peaked, I've been emphatic about stopping at three. I've said on more than one occasion (tongue in cheek, of course; you know how much I love my kids!!), "Why would I want more when I don't even like the ones I HAVE?" I have mostly just said that to make people laugh, because outrageous things with an element of truth to them are particularly funny. But there was an element of truth to it, because I was finding enjoying my older 2 boys exceedingly difficult for a few months there. I loved them dearly and am so glad they are mine, but enjoying their presence was proving difficult. At least when they were awake. When they sleep, they slay me with love. When they are awake, they slay me with noise so it's hard to hear the love (another outrageous statement designed to make you laugh). Well. I've discovered on my journey through treatment for my anxiety disorder that (a) avoidance behaviour is CLASSIC for anxiety disorder sufferers, (b) my desire to not have any more kids was avoidance behaviour, in that I wanted to avoid more of what was causing me anxiety (c) my thoughts pave the path for my feelings to a degree I've never before realized, and (d) winters are tough. The more I deal with my anxiety and learn how to balance my emotions out, the more I enjoy my kids' presence (the sunshine sure helps with that, too!), and the more appealing a fourth baby seems. Brent has always quietly lobbied for more children, since he loves to have kids and our plan was always greater than three (with the freedom to stop at any point if either of us felt 'done'). This actually caused me a great deal of [could it be?!] anxiety, because I didn't want to let him down or cause him unfulfilled dream but I really felt absolutely that I would go mental, drop all my spinning plates, hate my life, or have a psychotic episode if we were to have four kids. Or all of the above.
It's funny, I always feel I have to take on God's jobs. Keeping everyone alive. Vigilantly watching for SIDS. Condemning myself for not being the ideal parent. I'm going to tell you one of my anxiety trigger thingys. It is weird. But, you know. You all know I'm crazy. When I pray, I often retract my prayers and reframe them or ask for the reverse because I always, always hear in the back of my mind, "Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it!!" So I will pray, 'Please God, make this baby fall asleep,' and in my mind that 'be careful what you ask for' voice speaks up, and it says, 'You could pray that he falls asleep, and he might fall asleep but never wake up! Then you would have prayed that he fall asleep but really you prayed and were the cause of his death! Better change that prayer. Better not ask for that, or you might get it!'
I'm a certified nut job. And the craziest part is that I LISTEN TO THIS VOICE, and CHANGE MY PRAYER, all the time. All. The. Time. As if I could inadvertently trick God into killing my baby because I asked Him to help him fall asleep quicker. What kind of a vindictive, stupid, horrible God is that? I don't want to follow HIM! Yech.
Somehow, I've got to keep that baby alive. And I have to trick God into allowing me to do it. Jeepers.
So anyways, since I have been getting major help for my anxiety I have been more amenable to the idea of four children again. It especially helps when the weather turns, and when we do fun stuff as a family and I just enjoy being with my kids. It reminds me why we had any to begin with [well, God kind of planted that seed without asking us, now, didn't He? But we were going to HAVE kids, just not 9 months after we got married, that's all!]. In fact, tonight I took the big step of sharing with Brent that I'm thinking this. Before now I was toying with the idea, but not telling him because I wanted a back out clause. I didn't want to tell him I believed the desire to stop now was a result of my anxiety disorder because I didn't want to give him ammo for any future arguments about whether or not to have more. 'Oh, you're just crazy. You actually DO want more, and you even told me that the reason you don't feel like you want to is because you are crazy. So let's have more.' Like he would ever say that. But anyways.
#4 is on the table.
No time soon, no pregnancy to announce, no plans as to when. But tabled for discussion. Big step.
I love my kids. I love babies. I loved being pregnant this time around [though I'm not sure that came across last year, since I mostly posted complaints regarding being pregnant...I loved it, except for the last month. And puking on my birthday]. It's just not my nature to gush and rave about the good stuff, on paper. I talk about it in person but I don't like how I sound when I post sweet cheerful seems inauthentic, somehow, a lot of the time, as if I am doing a disservice to anyone who might not be feeling only cheerful that day, you know? Plus, I've gone through a lot in my life and it feels like a disservice to my own story to front only happy stuff. Or maybe I just don't always have the time or energy to devote to making a post sound soulfully happy, instead of peppy and chipper. Because I really am soulfully happy in much of my life. I really am! I find great joy in being a mom, in much of what I do as a paramedic, in my friendships, in my husband, and in our life together. I was overjoyed to be pregnant with Riley, and I savored it. But I wrote stuff that was funny most of the time. Which maybe was't all that wise, but then again it's my blog. There is no rule book about how one has to be on one's blog.
Some thoughts.
If I were to have another, I would get GD testing. I would eat even better than my last pregnancy, and exercise even more. I would test my blood sugars and go to the diabetic counselling and try for a more average sized baby (again. I was trying for a more average sized baby with Riley. Ha. 10 lb 2 ounces of 'average.' Though my midwife did say, 'Maybe you had GD. Or maybe you just have big babies There is nothing wrong with that.']. I would also have a midwife and try for a HBAC [home birth after cesarean] if she'd go for it. And I would love it.

I think I've also decided to prophylactically start taking St John's Wort every fall when the weather turns gloomy, and stop in the spring. For a great many years I've had funks in the winter. It's time to do something about it. Not that my post partum anxiety was a result of winter! My first anxiety attacks were in September when it was still beautiful. But I think winter compounds things, especially around here, in the West Coast rain forest. Some extra Seratonin could really help me out. But most helpful of all, I think, has been my post partum depression and anxiety treatment group. It was a support group with an educational component that helped me to realize how anxiety works, what contributes to it, and how to change my thought patterns in order to help me combat it. I really, really feel tons better. Some of that is the passage of time and the calming and regulating of hormones, but I think the majority of it is finally getting a handle on what is going on in my mind and my thought patterns. Some seriously whacked out stuff goes on in my head. As you all know. I should change the title of my blog to "Diary of a Crazy Lady." I say crazy a lot when I talk about my anxiety, and mostly I do that to make you laugh. I think it's funny, so it makes me laugh. But I'm not crazy, and I know that. Just a bit to the left of normal, I think. What is 'normal?'
Well, who the heck knows. Maybe we're all just a certain degree of crazy.

In conclusion; much of my anxiety has come to find peace, and #4 is back on the table.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Gross fact about Riley

He sleeps with his eyes open. His right eye, only about a millimeter, but his left eye about 3 millimeters. Ick! Visible REM? Freaky.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sun Run Fun

Ayden and I ran the Mini on Sunday morning. So fun! It was fabulous to share something I love (running, and race days) with Ayden. It was so neat to see him take in the crowd, the music, the balloons, and the excitement with big eyes, and to be filled with adrenaline for a race together. He was competitive: he kept urging me to 'pass more people!' So cute. Every participant got a ribbon, which was fabulous. He is very proud of his ribbon, and I am very proud of him. We ran almost the whole 2.5 K. At the start, Ayden, being less experienced, took off too quickly and burnt out about a half kilometer in. He then wanted a break--and not just to walk, but to sit down! He sat on the curb for about 10 seconds before hopping up and saying, 'Okay, let's go mommy!' and running again. So cute! After that he paced himself a little more, and we walked maybe a total of 30 more seconds. We got our names in the Vancouver Sun! Here are some pix.


Here are some of the kick ass photos our friends took of us a few weeks back. Sorry it took me so long!

Kick ass. Told ya.

Hello all

Hello, lovelies! It is a gorgeous day today, and I am relishing the sunshine. Yesterday I actually got IRRITATED at the sun because I can't wear sunglasses and it was too bright. But only for a second! I prefer sunshine to rain any day, 1000%.

So after much searching and reviewing of customer reviews, etc, we have decided on a stroller. It is THE BOB Revolution, with 18" back wheels:
The great news is that it is THE exact stroller for our needs. Lightweight, sturdy, good suspension, with a front wheel that turns for walking and locks for jogging. We put a ton of mileage on our strollers, so we need a good one. The bad news is the price tag: $470 plus 13.5% tax. And we would need the weather shield, another $50. Used ones sell for only $50 to $100 less. Not enough to justify one with wear and tear, since we USE our strollers. 2 hours per day, five days a week, plus jogging. On unpaved and paved trails.

We owe some people money. Preschool. My mom. Our speech therapist. And we have some old strollers in our garage. So here is the plan: pay people back the money we owe, sell the old strollers, and THEN I can get my Bob.


VERY HAPPY ABOUT THE BOB. Sad I have to wait.

Speaking of waiting, sorry I have been posting less lately. I really have to blame Riley, as I am no longer 'allowed' to be on the computer for more than 5 minutes if he is awake. And now that he crawls, there is just no way I can take my eyes off of him for more than 3 seconds at a time (I'm working on babyproofing, but it's tough with the older kids' stuff! Plus, he eats the TINIEST specks of dirt, sand, bug, or cheerio!)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Odds and Ends

My friend Louise asked about websites I use for crochet. I just googled 'learn to crochet,' and used the first site that came up! It was, search for learn to crochet! My favourite website for patterns and stuff is the Lion Brand site. You have to sign up for it, but sign up is free and they have all kinds of free patterns. When searching for patterns, Amigurumi is the style of crochet that I do. You can also do a google search for free amigurumi crochet patterns and find different websites. Hope that helps!
Apparantly crochet is easier than knitting, so for anyone who has knit before (I haven't) don't be intimidated!

Matthew and I were walking the other day and he said
"Mommy, I hungry. We have any trat ters? [crackers]"
"Ummm, no. We need to buy more from the store," I said, knowing that we buy our crackers from Costco. "We also need to buy some more toilet paper."
"Mommy, I no want to eat TOILET PAPER!"

I howled! We buy toilet paper from Costco too, so I was thinking that while we go there to buy crackers we should also buy toilet paper. Matthew was on a one track eating mind. I almost cried I laughed so hard, I think from the inflection in his voice when he said TOILET PAPER, with such disgust!

Ayden and I are running the 2.5 K Mini Sun Run tomorrow morning. He wanted to do the Sun Run with me this year :) So cute! I was planning on training for and running the full 10 K but I have to tell you, lowering my expectations regarding my fitness goals was a life saver. I was being so hard on myself because I ran the Sun Run the year Ayden was born, so I figured why can't I do it now? But Ayden was 8 months old when I started training for my first Sun Run, and 11 months when I ran it. Riley was 5 months old when I started training for this years' Sun Run, and 8 months on race day, AND I have THREE CHILDREN. It is harder to find time to run when one has THREE CHILDREN who won't all fit in the jogging stroller when I feel like going for a run and my husband is at work! Jeepers. Sometimes I'm way too hard on myself. So, I modified that goal to the 2.5 K mini sun run WITH Ayden and felt much better. My next goal after that will be the 5 K Run for the Cure in September, which I'll be raising funds for, so start saving now!!

Ayden had this thing when he was a baby where he would comfort himself by playing with my or Brent's thumbnail. He did it for years, but recently it has been slowly disappearing. He did it one night around the start of school, and then did it again at New Year's when he had a wicked case of RSV and was super sick. Then again last night he was scared to fall asleep and came into my bed, and held my hand. I felt his thumb slowly migrate to my thumbnail and v.e.r.y. descreetly start rubbing my thumbnail. It totally brings me back to when he was a baby. Sweet boy! Here is a pic of him and his baby brother after they fell asleep

And where was Matthew? I went to check on him and here he was, out in the cold!

Lol. Talk about a cutie. I put him back in his bed and he woke up enough to say, "Hi mommy," and then fell back asleep.

I burnt my chin. I was eating homemade pizza the other night and some cheese slapped off the pizza onto my chin and I got a second degree burn from it! Blister and all! Ack. The hazards of eating.

I just finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns for the second time, for my book club last Thursday. Wow, that book is fantastic. Sad, but fantastic. [sometimes those two words are actually sononymous when it comes to books...too much cheer is just not realistic]. I highly recommend it.
Now I'm reading The Pursuit of Happyness. I saw the movie with Will Smith in it when it first came out in the theatre, but I had heard that the book has way more detail. It definitely does. I'm glad I'm reading it too, though it is ALSO quite sad. Not the ending, per se. But the trials he goes through from an early age until he GETS to the ending. Which I presume is the same as the movie, since the point of the book is to highlight the ultimate example of the American Dream in real life. From living on the streets to becoming a millionare in a few [snort] determined steps. I highly recommend this book too. It is amazing what people can survive.

My porridge is ready so I better go.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Love and PRAYERS, please

My Aunt Lynne, who as I have mentioned before is currently battling breast cancer, is in pretty bad shape. She is in hospital due to a very low white blood count and an infection. She will be having (or has had?) a blood transfusion and many meds to try and help her get better.
Please pray! I love my aunt a lot, she is an amazing person, and she doesn't deserve this.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

8 Months

8 months old already! Time is flying!

Riley Alexander is now crawling,
pushing himself into and out of a sitting position,
pulling himeslf up to stand,
cruising along furniture,
reaching for people,
feeding himself (no cutlery),
eating cheerios off a dirty floor on a regular basis.
Recently produced a rash on his face as a result of a mouthful of mashed potatoes...confirming that waiting longer to introduce dairy is the right decision for this little boy (next time I'll mash him some without the butter, milk, and cream cheese mixed in with the potatoes. What was I thinking?).
He is still very easy going, happy, and easily entertained. He can be held off if hungry, tired, overstimulated, or wanting to be picked up with some verbal encouragement and eye contact for a fairly long time.
Pulls at my shirt and whines when he wants milk.
Pulls at anyone's shirt and whines when he wants milk, actually!
Throws up WAY less than he used to!
And is DETERMINED to eat rocks. And sidewalk chalk. And grass...

swimming lessons
family members, including extended family
pots and pans and wooden spoons
windy days
screeching like a Nazgul
anything involving slamming, hitting, flailing, or making very loud noise

having his nose wiped
diaper changes
his ears being touched
waiting to be picked up
being alone
slimy food like bananas or kiwi

Easter weekend

We had a great time! Brent's brother Brian and his wife Billie were visiting, with my NEICE! Woohoo! Love that little squirt!!! We visited the aquarium, ate far too much food, played games, watched movies, and all manner of fun.
Here are some pictures!

Riley dressed up and ready to go

Aquarium visit:

After the aquarium we went out for dinner at Red Robin (Olive Garden was our 1st choice but had a 2 hour wait, as opposed to immediate service at Red we modified our plans. 2 hours, with five hungry adults and four hungry children? Seriously, people). While there I determined that Riley loves french onion soup!

Here he was snarfing it down:

And here he was between bites, mad at me for taking so long:

with Auntie Cherilyn

And Easter itself;

Happy Easter, everyone!