Some good things

I’ve been doing an awful lot of complaining here lately, and let’s not lie, I COULD DO MORE. But instead, at least for today, I’ll tell you some things that are good right now.

  • Daniel now signs “book” and it is SUPER adorable. He has his favorites (Little Blue Truck, and Jamberry currently) and he will dig them out of our giant pile of board books and laugh hysterically while he drags one over for me to read. Then, after we’ve read it once, he’ll sign “more book” and put it back in my hands to read again. This gets significantly less adorable after about the 5th reading, but still. I love it.
  • Our king size bed. YOU GUYS. I’d forgotten how much I love this bed. And I sleep MUCH better. It’s so great.
  • Kalena’s school is wonderful (despite how much I hate the afternoon kindergarten schedule.) They send regular e-mail updates and even have an e-mail form to send for late arrival/early pick up/absences. I filled one out when the car wouldn’t start and Kalena missed school and I heard back within minutes.
  • Our key hanger thing. Living at my parents’ we got used to hanging our keys on the key rack as soon as we walked in. And you know what? That’s a great habit to be in. Always know where your keys are. So we bought ourselves one our first week here and I’m glad EVERY DAY that I don’t have to go hunting for my keys.
  • We met Daniel’s new therapist today and she seems GREAT. I was really worried about this because I loved his therapists in Colorado so much.
  • We’ve set up a playroom for the kids in the basement (technically storage/laundry area) and they’ve gotten SO MUCH BETTER about cleaning up with this arrangement. I can send them down to clean up and THEY DO. I continue to be amazed every time this happens.
  • For Christmas in 2012 Brian got me this thought a day journal. You write a line a day, every day, over a year and then start over at the beginning. (It’s a 5 year journal.) Well I managed to write every day last year and now I’m on year 2! It’s really been fun to read last year’s thought each day.

I’m sure there are more but that’s all I’ve got for now. What’s good in your life these days?

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End of the year survey: 2013

Here’s last year’s: 2012

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

Sent Kalena to kindergarten. Watched Brian graduate from college!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

If I made resolutions for 2013 (and I probably did) I don’t remember them. My resolution for 2014 is: survive. Wish me luck!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? 

My sister! And my sister in law! And some lovely internet friends.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully, no.

5. Whose behavior merited celebration? 

Brian’s. As always.

6. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? 

I’m stealing last year’s answer here: nobody in my personal life, and too many in the media.

7. Who did you miss? 

Far away friends. My sisters.

8. Who was the best new person you met? 

How can I pick just one?!

9. Where did you travel?

Charleston, South Carolina for the Blathering! With the family, Utah a couple times. Denver. Estes Park. Pueblo.

10. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

A steady income!

11. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Friday, December 13th. Brian’s college graduation! It’s especially fun for me that he graduated on a Friday the 13th, because I also graduated college on a Friday the 13th, in May of 2005.

12. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Preparing to move a thousand miles away while hugely pregnant.

13. What was your biggest failure?

Ugh. I feel like there was a lot of failure on my part this year.

14. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nope. Nothing serious anyway.

15. What was the best thing you bought?

Plane tickets to Charleston.

16. Where did most of your money go?

Away.

17. What did you get really excited about?

Brian’s graduation! And his new job! And our move! (December was quite the month around here.)

18. Compared to this time last year, are you: Happier or sadder? Thinner or fatter? Richer or poorer?

Happier. Life’s been good. Fatter. Being 31 weeks pregnant will do that to you. Poorer. Until Brian actually starts work we’re pretty much broke.

19. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Keeping up with my hobbies.

20. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Being impatient with my kids.

21. What did you want and get? 

For Brian to get a job! (I feel like it’s cheating to answer this way since really BRIAN got the job and I had nothing to do with it. But still.)

22. What did you want and not get? 

Winning lottery tickets?

23. How did you spend Christmas?

At home with the family. Very low key this year with everything else that’s going on.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

I really liked White Collar. Not that I ever watched any current episodes, only what’s on Netflix.

25. What were your favorite books of the year?

I’m gonna go with “The Dog Stars” even though I think I’m the only one who liked it.

26. What was your favorite music from this year?

Uhhhh, anything I can sing along with.

27. What song will always remind you of 2013?

I have no idea.

28. What were your favorite films of the year?

I don’t know. I fail at pop culture.

29. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? 

None. I’m not big on celebrities. (Again, failing at pop culture.)

30. What political issue stirred you the most? 

Let’s not talk politics on my blog.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 31! I had a migraine. We did take-out sushi and ice cream cake the next day to make up for it.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I feel pretty satisfied.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Elastic waist. Maternity pants really are the best.

34. What kept you sane?

The internet. Phone calls to my sisters. The best husband in the world.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

There might not be nothing I love more than seeing my kids love each other.

Nothing much

I don’t want to get into that cycle where I don’t post anything because I just got done posting every day for a month so hey! Random stuff post today!

  • Out of nowhere Daniel can suddenly work a straw cup. This is AWESOME. We’ve been working on straw cups/sippy cups for MONTHS and he’s been able to work a sippy with a bite valve, but not very willing to do it. Now out of the blue he’s totally willing to drink out of a straw cup. Woohoo!
  • I’ve worked out the things that make my hips and back hurt: 1) Carrying Daniel around. 2) Standing for long periods of time. 3) Sitting on hard chairs or the floor. Those are in order of how bad they make things. This is unfortunate since Daniel doesn’t walk and I have to carry him on a regular basis. Often when I carry him my hips and back pop with every step. It is both painful and obnoxious. I’m sure the fact that I always carry him on my left side doesn’t help, but I’m basically incapable of carrying him on my right. Only 13 more weeks of this!
  • I only got one piece of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. I feel like I need to remedy this.
  • I’m pretty much over wearing maternity jeans. I’d like to spend the next 13 weeks in yoga pants or leggings or pj pants. Is that acceptable?
  • We’re on a serious mission to get Will to quit sucking his finger. Our method: pointer and middle finger on each hand taped together with first aid tape. (Having a band-aid/tape on his finger is so far the ONLY thing we’ve found that keeps it out of his mouth.) For each half day (we split by nap) he doesn’t suck on any fingers he gets a sticker on a calendar chart and a poker chip. His “tokens” can be saved to buy something (10 tokens gets a dollar store toy or an app he wants.) Or he can spend a single token for 30 minutes of time playing on an iPad. We’re a whopping ONE day into this sooooo I’ll keep you updated.
  • Sometimes I feel like I need my grown-up card revoked. For instance, Brian and I have been married 7 years, we’re working on baby number 4, and we don’t have a family picture bigger than an 8X10. Not even just of the 2 of us. BUT! I just ordered one of the ones Sally took in a 20X30 and I am VERY excited.

 

Insomnia

It seems cruel that I should be getting such terrible sleep just before I have a newborn who will undoubtedly cause me to only get terrible sleep, but here we are. I’ve never been a great sleeper. I sleep super lightly and anything wakes me up. That’d be fine except that then I can’t go back to sleep. Or I can but it takes 20-30 minutes. And if I wake up after 4 am? It takes an hour or more. I know I’ve mentioned that my kids get up at the crack of dawn which means I usually fall back to sleep juuuuust before they get up.

Waking too early in the morning and not being able to get back to sleep is known as sleep maintenance insomnia or sometimes as early-rising insomnia. I don’t generally have a problem falling asleep at the beginning of the night (although that also usually takes 20 minutes or so) but man it sucks to lay in bed at 4 or 5 am unable to sleep. Sleeping pills don’t help any. I mean, I guess they do in the sense that I have less trouble falling back asleep int he middle of the night, but I never feel well rested after taking a unisom, (even if I’ve adjusted to the effects after taking it for several days.) As a result, even if I get 8 hours of sleep I still feel like I haven’t had enough. And, the worst part, taking something to help me sleep makes me irritable the next day and drops my patience level with my kids to the bare minimum. So it’s no good all around.

I follow all the “rules” for preventing insomnia, with one exception. If you have insomnia, it’s often suggested that you not sleep where you can see a clock. Theoretically it prevents you from counting the minutes, focusing on how long you’ve been awake or how long until you have to wake up. But for me? It drives me INSANE not to know what time it is when I wake up. And if I can’t see a clock I will lay in bed ASSUMING I need to be up any minute waking myself up more and more until I track down a clock and find out what time it actually is. (Generally not anywhere close to time that I need to be up.) When I wake up (even in the middle of the night) it’s like a light switch being flipped. I am asleep and then I’m NOT. There’s no gradual coming to consciousness, it’s just BOOM. Eyes open, awake. Which means I canNOT rely how sleepy I feel to know if I should be going back to sleep or not. Hence the need for a clock.

Anyway, I’m not sure I have a point here except that insomnia sucks and I really wish I could get a good night’s sleep.

Books and stuff

It’s after 10 here, because there’s nothing that inspires me to write like last minute panic!

Actually, I was at book club this evening which is why I didn’t write sooner. And book club put me in the mood to write some bookish thoughts this evening (night.)

First, my Goodreads goal. My goal for this year was 50 books. It seemed totally doable! I mean, I belong to 2 book clubs so that’s already 2 books a month, so all I needed was to add 2 books a month of my own. Except then I got pregnant and basically quit reading. Now, if I want to make my goal I’d need to read like 17 books before the end of the year and you know what? Not happening. With Brian graduating and us moving and everything else going on I’ll be surprised if I read ANY more books before the end of the year. Oh well. Try again next year!

Related: 2 book clubs. Have I talked about this before? I’m in 2 book clubs. The first is more serious (and much longer running.) We take turns hosting, and the host provides some information on the author and the book to go with our discussion. The host also provides some sort of treats. (Because what’s a book club without treats, RIGHT?) This book club reads a little of everything. Classics, contemporary fiction, non-fiction, all kinds of stuff. We all have a say in what we read, we pick the next years worth of books in December, and then set up hosting based on who is most interested in what. The second book club is much more relaxed. We meet at Barnes & Noble, nobody has any info on anything, and those of us who have read it mostly discuss whether or not we liked it. (Often more people DON’T read the book than do.) This book club reads exclusively young adult stuff. And you know what? They’re both fun! I’m gonna have to find some new book clubs (at least one) when we move.

I love recommending a book that somebody else ends up loving. As a result I feel bad if I don’t love a book somebody else recommended to me. There’s SO much that factors into whether or not I like a book or not. And yet! I always WANT to like the books that get recommended to me.

I have a kindle app, and I’ve read books on a reader, but I still prefer actual books. I love the convenience of electronic reading, but it won’t be replacing books for me any time soon.

Any book thoughts from you?

this & that

I have some ideas for posts rambling around in my head, but can’t get my thoughts together on any of them tonight, so how about some random tidbits about me? Great. Here you go.

1. I love to read, but I’m not a fan of being read to. I don’t like audio books for this reason. I keep trying them, because I could get stuff done WHILE listening to a book, but no. Unless the narrator is fabulous I just can’t do it.

2. While we’re on the subject of reading, I rarely notice swearing in books. If you ask me whether a book has bad language or not I probably can’t tell you. (Unless it’s REALLY excessive.) However, I DO notice it if I’m listening to an audiobook. I don’t know why.

3. If I have seen a movie, I can tell you whether it has vomit in it. Growing up with Kari who is a total vomit-phobe has made me hyper aware of it. It used to be I paid attention so I could warn her, but now it’s just habit. (Although she HAS called me as an adult and asked about a movie. Her husband was sure I wouldn’t know. I did.)

4. I love to bake, but I cannot seem to manage anything with yeast. I can make pie, cake, cookies, brownies, (basically any baked dessert) but I can’t make a loaf of bread to save my life.

5. My feet are tiny. I wear a size 5 1/2 (6 when I’m pregnant.) Did you know lots of stores don’t even stock smaller than a size 6 in women’s shoes? I’ve been known to buy from the kids’ section, especially tennis shoes.

6. I have a pretty high tolerance for singing toys, even if the songs are obnoxious, but toys that make non-music noise drive me insane. For instance, the kids toy vacuum makes a “vacuuming” noise and I canNOT tolerate it. It hasn’t had new batteries since the first set died. Also? The noise that the little motorized trains make. Can’t deal.

7. I can’t stand melon of any kind. Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, it’s all disgusting. I try watermelon every couple years because it LOOKS good, but nope. Still don’t like it. Can’t even do cantaloupe flavored jelly-bellies.

8. I love the IDEA of dressing up for Halloween, but every year when it comes down to it I can’t stand to spend the money on something I’ll only wear for a few hours. I shouldn’t be surprised by this, seeing as I wore a $20 sundress to get married in.

9. As a teenager I always figured that when I was “a grown up” I’d have a whole matched bedding set with a comforter and pillow shams and decorative pillows. Turns out I don’t like decorative pillows and I prefer traditional quilts to comforters.

10. I really hate watching TV because I find commercials obnoxious. I also hate waiting for new episodes every week. I basically only watch shows I can get on Netflix.

So. Anything random you’d like to share about yourself?

On being the perfect person

Since Daniel was born I’ve been told quite a few times that I’m “the perfect person” to have a child with Down syndrome. Here are some of my thoughts on that.

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After the nurse informed us that it was likely Daniel had Down syndrome and left the room, the very first thing I said to Brian was, “I don’t know if I can do this.” And he looked at me like I was a little crazy and said, “Do what?” Because you know, little late to be rethinking this whole baby thing. He’s sleeping in the bassinet RIGHT THERE. And I said, “Raise a special needs child.” I was terrified of the future, of the unknowns that Daniel brought with him. And I most certainly did not believe I was the perfect person to be doing this.

Then a few days after Daniel was born, Brian and I were driving over to see him in the NICU. We pulled up to a stop sign at the parking lot entrance and Brian was quiet for a second before saying, “You know, I’ve always felt like I would have a special needs child.” And I responded with something super eloquent like, “Really?” But OH! Relief flooded through me when he said that. It was like suddenly everything was okay, because I wasn’t alone in this. He was so matter of fact, so sure that Daniel was meant for us. After that, how could I feel otherwise? It was suddenly easy to see that we are the best FAMLY for Daniel.

I don’t have to be the perfect person, because I’m not the only person Daniel has. Obviously I do my best, but Daniel is also lucky enough to have Brian and Kalena and Will and any/all future siblings. I still have my moments (or days) where I feel like I’m doing a terrible job at this. I think EVERY mother has those. Anyway, the point is, 20 months in I STILL don’t feel like I’m the perfect person to have a child with Down syndrome. But you know what? I DO have a child with Down syndrome so how I feel is pretty irrelevant. I’ll continue to do my best for Daniel just like I do for our other kids, and I’ll hope my best is good enough.

The Blathering

2 weeks ago I went to Charleston for The Blathering. I haven’t recapped yet, because what is there to say? I had a fabulous time. I got to see some old friends, and meet new friends who immediately felt like old friends.

I got to try fried green tomatoes for the first time. Verdict: delicious!

I got to swim in an outdoor pool in October! (Unheard of in Colorado.)

I got to sleep in as late as I wanted! Which, sadly was not really late at all, especially considering how late we stayed up talking every night.

DSCN7147

 

Awesome roommates.

All in all, a wonderful weekend.

20 week update

I’ve been a slacker about my weekly updates. This is me at 20 weeks:

DSCN7153

So far I’m up 20 lbs. My eating is basically back to normal. I still can’t eat too much sugar (makes me sick) but I don’t have to eat every 2 hours. Spicy stuff gives me heartburn, but I haven’t gotten to the point where EVERYTHING gives me heartburn so that’s nice. All in all a pretty nice point in pregnancy.

Our favorite date night

Brian and I are homebodies. (My sister might replace the word “homebodies” with the word “losers” but potato potahto.) Anyway. We always have been. Our first date was dinner out and then a movie at his apartment. Our Valentine’s day tradition is picking up Chinese take out. Even before we had kids our idea of an excellent Friday night was movies at home. The only sad part about this is that microwave popcorn is not nearly as good as movie theater popcorn. Enter the refillable popcorn bucket. (Be prepared to judge me and my popcorn addiction here.)

Our local Carmike movie theater (actually, all Carmikes, I think?) is doing a promotion where you can buy a plastic popcorn bucket and then get refills for $3.50. So our new favorite thing to do for date night is to go fill our popcorn bucket with delicious, buttery, movie theater popcorn and then come home to watch a movie! It’s the best of all worlds. Awesome snacks, plus pajamas and the ability to pause the movie.

Now you tell me, what’s your favorite date night?

P.S. All this popcorn has been not good for my dieting. But it’s so yummy!

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