Monday, April 15, 2013

Updates on us (started out as part of the other post from today, but it was a little long, so I split it up)

In other news, Desi is a little over 18 months now. He is 15% for weight, 45% for height, 75% for head. Guess all the food he is eating is going to straight to his brain, because I just saw the paper from his 6 month checkup while I was digging through the closet trying to find those power converters and he was 50% across the board for everything. He is sure a crazy little kid. Doesn't speak much English yet, but has his own language and he talks a ton. He loves rough and tumble play, loves tackling, flying through the air, tickling, and zerbets/raspberries/flubbers whatever you want to call them. He adores his older brother and loves to copy him, and he loves water. He can and often does spend an hour in the bath. He is almost weaned, and will be completely weaned by this coming Friday or Saturday (maybe sooner, he nursed Friday morning, and then not again until Monday morning even though he still wants to a lot more often than that). Desi also has the cutest smile and laugh I have ever seen, he thinks he is soo funny and runs a round the house screaming and laughing quite often.  He is also the king of mischief (he has learned how to get a cup and get water from the fridge door) and tantrums!


Simon is as sweet ever, is the best story teller I have ever heard (kid or not), has an unhealthy love for video games (especially the lego games- lord of the rings, star wars, indiana jones, pirates of the carribean, but only has the full star wars games the rest are all demos), gets outeaten by his little brother, adores our neighbor Brentt who is 12, and thinks he is much older than 4 (I swear the boy acts like a teenager). He gets frustrated playing with kids that are younger than him (especially if they name call or hit), is very social and is comfortable asking people for help, talking to kids at the park, and even asking store employees where to find things. We recently quickly put an end to a bad habit he learned of lying, and if he goes 30 days without lying he gets a bunny... I think he has not lied since we started that, and I think we are on day 8. He is a pretty calm boy, loves books, legos, and forts, and playing the above mentioned lego games in real life, whether make-believe or with his Legos. He also loves baths, preschool with his Vovo, and being my helper (he will help me cook, water plants, clean, wash dishes, vacuum, etc.) and he also likes to things on his own, and has an incredibly attention span and stay focused on one thing for hours if he wants. Steve and I have tried really hard to foster his independence and teach him that he is capable of doing things on his own, and it is really paying off. Right now he is in the bathtub and just got the shampoo so he can wash his hair by himself, he doesn't want me to help. He also can get himself breakfast, and get drinks for himself, which has been especially nice especially with breastfeeding Desi because he nurses/nursed almost nonstop for about 2 hours in the morning when he wakes up, which makes it difficult to get Simon breakfast in a timely manner. He really is something else, and because of Simon I have unrealistically high expectations of other kids behavior because what I thought was normal behavior because it's what he did, really isn't normal.

I recently came across a website called The Orange Rhino, and because of it had a realization that I really need to stop yelling. I don't yell a whole ton, but still a lot more than I would like to, and any amount of yelling is not okay, and my boys deserve better than that. In theory I am going to try to go a whole year without yelling, but I'm just taking it one day at a time, and just trying to make it through each day. I have messed up a few times and totally lost it, but I'm trying, I'm making a very conscious effort, and I feel like I'm doing a good job. Having kids has made me realize that I'm not nearly as patient as I once thought I was, and I realize more and more that I'm a lot more like my dad than I thought. (I knew we had lots of things in common- as far as interests- especially outdoors and photography, but I have a lot of his personality traits too). I am really enjoying being a mom, feel like I have a good thing going, love our house, have finally got to decorate a few things that I've been dying to do since we moved in (mirror and table in the entryway), and have big plans for the family room (plans Steve played a huge part in coming with- such as painting the brick colored cave yellow which I initially fought, but am now all for), and feel like I have a good grasp of cleaning and keeping up with most of the housework (laundry will forever elude me, and dishes I'm always a little behind) but I vacuum almost every day (stupid dog hair)!
(Not a lot of pictures of me, and most of the ones of me or decorating were on Steve's phone that died)

I have a hard time updating for Steve- I feel like he should be able to edit or tell me to add things he wants, so I'll be brief. Steve works a ton and is still working nights and probably will work nights until he becomes a nurse practitioner. He is almost always tired, and converts to a "normal people" scheduler on his days off so he can spend time with us. He works hard to provide for us and in return I work hard to provide for him. His job is incredibly stressful so I try to make his days off good for him. He loves going hiking, especially now that the weather is warming up, and loves having friends over on his days off for dinner, good company, and video games. He is an incredible man, and puts up with a lot, and I'm grateful to have him in my life forever.

Because when you feel like updating your facebook status 50 times in one day, you should probably blog instead.

That has totally been me today. I don't know if it's the new phone that makes me want to do it, I'm pretty sure that isn't it. I think it is really the fact that we are leaving on a trip soon. That I'm going to be away from my boys for 2.5 weeks. That my husband and I are both starting to freak out a little bit that we are going to die while on said trip. Because I'm pretty sure we are both thinking about if we should be cancelling the trip, but neither of us wants to say those words. Because we've been waiting to go on this trip for 6 years. Because I don't want to cancel it because I am stubborn, and I feel like it is our elusive cursed trip that we will never go on, and we are gonna go dang it, we're going! And this is probably the only time that will work for us to go on this trip until our kids are grown and out of the house. Because it's our honeymoon, finally!
But regardless, I've had a lot on my mind.
I'm very overwhelmed by the thought of getting the boys packed to go to my parents house. I'm overwhelmed by getting myself packed- still can't find those power converters that I'm pretty sure my dad gave me years ago, and I can't find my money belt either. But I do have outfits picked out and coordinated and hanging in my closet, complete with accessories and everything, even the shoes are hanging out below the clothes. I've been buying the little stuff I need-toiletries, etc. I've been tossing things into a suitcase that I'm going to need or bring. I've been making lists. Lots of lists: what to bring, what to do buy, what to pack for me, what I need to send with the boys to my moms house. Mostly just need diapers, wipes, shampoo, conditioner, and detergent. But I'm sure I'm going to forget things. I still should buy a snorkeling mask, but I've waited so long, I can try to look at reviews and hope I find a mask that's good, but I'm going to have to get it at a store here in town, and what if I get to Malta, put the mask on and find out it leaks? That's sure gonna suck. I'm an overpacker, and its hard for me to just pack what will fit in a backpack that is carry-on size. (we are probably bringing an empty suitcase for souvenirs though, but I don't want to carry around a loaded down suitcase while we are being tourists) Just some major nerves going on right now, and Steve is working all week, so I can't even just vent/ramble all my concerns to him. (hence this post) Just super nervous, for the trip, for my boys, for leaving them. The longest I have been away from Desi is about 6 hours. Never even overnight, and I'm going to be away for 2.5 weeks, I think I'm having some separation anxiety!
Another big thing on my mind is do we meet my mom halfway to drop off the boys, or do we drive them up all the way, get Desi settled in, spend the night, and then leave to drive back here the next day? I've been going back and forth repeatedly, meet half way, go all the way there... Desi had a doctors appointment today and I asked the Dr her opinion. She thinks it would be better for us to take him all the way and introduce him to a new place and new people (he's met my parents several times, but is also only a year and a half old, so he doesn't really have a good memory yet). So that is what we are going to do. I think. I just feel nervous about everything, am I making the right decision? Are my boys going to have a hard time? Really Simon will be fine, is Desi going to have a hard time? Are they going to feel abandoned? Are they going to hate me when we come back because we left them for so long? This is a long time to leave kids, should we have brought them with us instead? So many questions, so many things to doubt my judgment and Steve's judgment. Are we being good parents? I've always believed it's good for parents to go on trips without their kids, and we went to Belize without Simon I never felt like this. Why is this trip so different? I really worry we are making the wrong choice and that something tragic is going to happen, either to us, or to our kids.
I'm kind of scared to be on a plane for such a long time. What the heck am I going to do for 12 hours? I'm pretty sure I'm going to just be crying for a few of those hours. I've cried the last few nights putting my boys to bed. I've wanted to do nothing but hold them and cuddle them non-stop. I feel like I'm going to burst into tears any second. Before we go I'm going to record myself singing the boys songs at bedtime, and maybe reading a couple of stories too, but I haven't been able to do it yet because emotionally I can't do it without crying. I want them to have something while we are gone though to help them feel some semblance of a normal routine like we have here at home. But I'm still scared we are going to die- why do I have this fear? is premonition or paranoia? I really want to record the songs for the boys, but there is a part of me that says, oh my goodness, what if you die, and that is all your boys have left of you? just you singing the songs to them to put them to bed? I'm going to write them letters too, just in case. If I can bring myself to do it. I just can't imagine my life without them, and I can't imagine their lives without me and Steve. I'm crying as I type this, I wish I could calm my fears, and my mind, and my heart. If you are reading this before May 7, and especially before April 21, please pray for us. Pray that we will know if we are making the right decision, and if this will be a good thing, or even just a not bad thing. We are having a will made on Wednesday, planning for the worst. Things have discussed with family members, things that most of the family knows anyways, but putting it on paper, so it can be official.
I still feel like this whole trip is surreal, it's the trip that will never happen despite how badly we want to go, despite having plane tickets, and living arrangements. I hadn't started packing yet last time, I was about to start looking for my swimsuit (it was in January and I had just moved) but I hadn't started to pack yet, when we got the news that the financial aid had been dispersed, all our money gone, but we still had tickets, and we had just gotten married, why not go for a honeymoon instead? Nope, no honeymoon, no trip. Prayers are answered, trips are canceled, airlines are striking, and tickets are completely refunded. But this time, I want to go so badly, we've been planning it for months, we have our reservations, our hotels, flights, things to do planned out. I started to try to learn Italian for the Sicily portion, but just wasn't feeling it, there's still been this part of me that doubts if we will actually make it this time, if we'll actually go. I haven't even really looked up what to do, what to see, I mean I have a little bit, but not that much. And I should be looking up tons of information, but I haven't.
So anyways, this is the big thing weighing on me. Have you left your kids for a long period of time? Or even a short one? Did you feel incredibly guilty? How did you cope with it? Did you cope or was it just horrible? Were you able to accept the fact that your kids are with people who love them and are having a really fun time? Were you freaking out that something would happen either to you or your kids while you are away from each other? How did you deal? Any advice, thoughts, opinions, or words of comfort would be very much appreciated. Even if you think we are stupid for going on this trip, I'm sure whatever you have to say, I've already thought, but I still want to hear it, especially the positive stuff. Thanks for sticking with me through my emotional post!

Friday, February 1, 2013

We got a dog!

On January 9th our boys got to go to pre-school for the first time. Our 4 year-old and the just over 1 year-old. My mother-in-law (Steve's mom) decided she wants to preschool with her grandsons every week and this was the first one. I kind of like it because it gives me a break for a couple of hours each week without having to feel guilty about asking someone to babysit. I always feel bad when we get babysitters, it seems like no one ever really wants to do it, but just does it to be nice and because we ask. But anyways, pre-school. Occasionally it even happens on a day where Steve and I can go on a date during it. Since he works nights he typically sleeps during the day, but sometimes his days off fall on a day where we can go on a date during pre-school.
This particular day we went on a date! We went to see Steve's old lady friend that he visits, Rachel, and had lunch with her. Steve bugged me all morning about wanting to go to the pound (just to look) in the morning, but it just didn't feel right to me, and I didn't think we would really have time if we wanted to pick up food and get to Rachel's in time. (We didn't have time, barely made it to Rachel's on time without a stop at the pound to look at dogs). After lunch with Rachel and hearing her stories about traveling around the world, her apartment she had all to herself on the coast near San Francisco, places she wished she could go to again but sad that they will never be the same because they got overdeveloped, and just enjoying her, we headed back to reality to pick up the boys.
As always, Simon didn't want to leave Vovo's house. He loves his Vovo, everyone loves his Vovo, so we stayed until Zane left to go with his dad and then we left too. At this point I felt like it would be an okay time to go look at dogs, I just wasn't feeling it earlier in the day, and it's a good thing I didn't either, or we wouldn't have found the most perfect doggie dog in the whole world. (Slight overstatement but not by much, he really is perfect for us.) We got to the pound (shelter), asked if they had any dogs that would be good with kids, they had like four dogs in the whole pound that might be good with kids, and went on to describe one to us that they had just gotten in an hour before. He was black, with white/gray markings almost like a mane, passed all the "tests" they do with the dogs to check for training, aggression, command response, etc. They told us where to find him, which number kennel he was in, and so we went looking. We could figure out how to get to the group of dogs before his number, and the ones after him, but we couldn't figure out how to get to him without going outside. And it's cold outside, it is January after all, and we had both kiddos with us.
Well we braved the cold and wind and went outside and there was "Kodiak" and another dog just down from him that I liked a lot too but was very fearful of Steve and was probably abused by a man, I was very sad because I liked the other dog a lot, it turned out alright though. Steve went and found someone to get the dog so we could go into a visiting room and visit with him. He was perfect! Didn't jump, did well on the leash, wanted to play ball, liked the kids, didn't bark or growl, wasn't scared of either of us, just overall a good dog. Steve and I were both feeling very nervous about it. We weren't really intending on getting a dog quite yet, we were just going to look and didn't think there would be anything good anyways, we went back and forth a lot with the, "What do you think?" "I don't know, he's a good dog, I like him. What do you think." "I don't know, are we ready for a dog yet?" "I don't know, he seems pretty perfect though." "Yeah, he is really good, I didn't think we would find anything like this, he's just what we want." "He is really perfect, but I don't know, we weren't going to get a dog today." "What do you think?" etc, etc.
Well we decided to go for it. The worker took the dog back to his kennel, Steve went off to fill out paper work, and I took the boys around looking at cats because Simon likes cats and really wants a cat. Finally Steve finishes filling out all the papers, signs for it, they talk to us a little about the adoption, how to care for him post-surgery, kenneling, etc. Finally, we are done, and they bring the dog out, our dog, the new member to our family. Simon got to ring a bell saying we adopted. Everyone in the office area cheered. I almost cried. When they brought him out my heart swelled like I didn't know was possible with an animal. After all, he's just an animal that I had met only half an hour before. But it felt so right, so complete, like he was meant to be with us. We changed his name to Mobius or Moby for short. We don't know what his name was before, he wasn't surrendered, the county picked him up, and no one ever claimed him. He had only been there for an hour before we met him. Just one hour spent in the pound. If we had gone earlier in the day, or even an hour earlier, when we were supposed to leave Vovo's house instead of letting Simon play for a little longer, we wouldn't have found him.
It's amazing how quickly an animal can become part of your family. I understand dog people now. I understand why people spend lots of money on "pets." I totally get why people want their dog in their family picture. It all makes sense now. It's one of those things you just don't realize until it happens to you. Moby is part of our family now. He protects us, and our home. Simon and Desi love him. Simon wants Moby to sleep with him every night, and we let him. It's so cute. He'll let him out in the morning, he has offered to help me pick up poop, he wants to hold the leash when we are at the park, he likes to play with him, and pet him. They are best friends already. The day after we got him I had the sad realization that in about 10 years we are going to have to say goodbye to this dog. Simon will be about 14, and will remember having this dog by his side almost his whole life, Desi won't have any memories without Moby, and then at some point, he will die, and our boys will learn about death in an all to personal way when they lose their best friend. My heart breaks already with the thought of something that is still a decade away. I love this dog and I never realized how special an animal can be. He loves us all, and he loves us unconditionally. He takes care of us, he protects us, he keeps our home safe while Steve is at work. I hope that we can do the same for him.