Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Last night we arrived home after a 4 day trip to the Seattle area for a wedding I was in. It was for one of Josh's cousins. It was an interesting trip to say the least. For 4 days we mingled with "high society" and I have to say it made me appreciate my life that much more. We have a fulfilling life which puts our marriage and family first. I don't feel small by any means because of my lack of passion for a career outside of raising my son. If anything, I felt I had a wonderful secret which I was the only one privy to.

On the trip over Carson only screamed for 20 mins and out of a 4 hour road trip I thought that was pretty good. Then on the way home he screamed for about an hour which I still felt pretty good about because it was still only for a quarter of the trip.

All in all it was a wonderful time. The wedding was beautiful, the bride was gorgeous, and I loved being dolled up. We were staying with another one of Josh's cousins. Her and her husband are such sweeties it was a joy to stay with them. They made us feel right at home, even with a rambunctious toddler.

Although, I was very thankful to get home to our normal life. When we pulled into our neighborhood, I realized how beautiful it really is in all it's quaint glory. We didn't realize this wedding was going to be such a swanky affair. The bride is a pretty laid back person and even though the groom is laid back as well, friends of his family didn't seem to be and they made up a large part of the wedding party. The rehearsal dinner was being held in someone's back yard so we assumed casual. We assumed wrong! Thankfully I had worn a dress but it wasn't nearly dressy enough. As we pulled up to a mansion with a toddler in tow, we both said a silent prayer to help us get through the night. We immediately smacked our foreheads for not taking a cousin up on her offer to babysit. As we walked in and headed to the back of the house where people were mingling, we looked out onto the "backyard.". Backyard was in quotations because the yard was actually a small patio that descended to the lake below with no rails or border to keep Carson from falling off the edge. Then we look at the tables that are perfectly set with nice dishes and crystal champagne glasses. I survey this as Carson is on my hip and silently say oh $&#%. A heads up would have been nice but we decided to stick it out and just prayed that we could make it through the dinner without Carson breaking anything. Despite the fact that Carson only had a few feet to safely move around, we all made it back to the car at of the end of the night with all their pretty dishes and decorations intact. Trust me there was a huge sigh of relief when we made it to the car.  Thankfully this wasn't the situation the entire weekend, but we had our fill by the time we headed home. 

Most people would have been impressed by this huge mansion but not us. We actually learned that this type of life style is not our cup of tea. We prefer homey to pretentious and although the owners of this home were nice, I felt like something was off. There was definitely an air of conceitedness and by the time Sunday came, we couldn't wait to get home to our simple life.  I was amazed that instead of feeling insecure or uncomfortably out of place,  I actually was very grateful that at home we are surrounded by people with the same values as us and that even those that are well off manage to make their homes warm and inviting.  As we were telling Josh's mom and laughing about the potentially diverted disaster, she told me something very wise. That someday all those wordly possessions will be gone and they'll be wearing a diaper like everyone else. It doesn't matter how much wealth you accumulate, eventually someone will be wiping your bottom. Well said words if I do say so myself.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Rainy Monday

That Shiny Toy Guns song has been running through my head all morning. I'm bummed it's another rainy day.   We had one nice sunny day this last week and I thoroughly enjoyed it but I'm hoping for more and soon.  It's summer for pete's sake!

I've been reading The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace and although I do think she goes a tad far sometimes it is a really great encouragement and reminder of how things should be in a family dynamic.  It may be my culture influencing me  but she mentioned that you should put his hobbies before yours plus cook for him, provide snacks, possibly answer his phone, make sure you look presentable with your hair fixed and makeup on and a slew of other things that Josh and I were laughing about.  I'm glad the one thing we both agree on is we don't want to be superficial spouses.  We love that we are real with each other.  Which means we hang out with my hair in a mess and no make up on and still find each other attractive.  Sorry, but we do share the bathroom sometimes.  That's the reality of only having one.  That's why candles and vents are great things :).  Now on the other hand, I don't walk around in baggy shirts and sweat pants everyday.  When we go on dates, I doll myself up and Josh appreciates that.  We seem to have a good balance on that issue.  The best relationship encouragement I am getting from this book is that I can help my husband accomplish goals.  She suggested to ask your husband weekly what his goals are and keep track for him and ask how you can help him accomplish those goals.  That is something I find to be a great idea because we are created to be our husband's help mate.  This doesn't mean do everything for him, which I am sometimes guilty of and that only hinders growth, but to help your husband accomplish his own goals, even if those goals are hobbies, should be a priority.  I could see how setting and accomplishing his own goals would give Josh some confidence in his life.  Especially instead of a honey-do list that I created.  I've never done a honey-do list but I do sometimes say things like "okay, this is what I want to get done today" and I rattle off a list and expect him to help.  Instead I could stop and ask, what do you think we should get done today?  Then I can give my input of what we should start with first or how we might be able to accomplish those tasks.  I am going to start with this and move on to some other suggestions the author has.  One thing at a time right!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Carson's New Phase

This morning I had to tell Carson that he has some dirt in his teeth.  I was half expecting him to ask where and then decided I better just pick it out for him.   He is going through a definite phase and it's rather concerning.  He attempts to eat everything.  Dirt, bark, flowers, rocks, leaves, etc.  It's concerning because some of the plants in our yard are toxic.  Really, how many edible landscaping items are there?  He seems to be doing fine though.  I'm just not sure how to curb this behavior.  His poor teeth are taking a beating because he literally chews the rocks.  Obviously I snap into action and get the rocks out of his mouth as fast as possible, but it would be nice if he never stuck them in his mouth in the first place.  It's like he's 7 months old again and crawling around the house sticking everything in his mouth.  I thought we were past this!  I panic every time he's outside because what if he decides to eat a flower?  Or choke on a rock!  He has already eaten a Christmas Cactus flower and so we had to put a call into poison control and thankfully it's not toxic, at least in small amounts.   I'm hoping he passes through this phase quickly.

Since it's Friday, here is my Grateful Friday list:

1. That we had the entire last weekend off.  Our employee didn't call in sick or have some drama to take care of.  It was sooooo nice.  Crossing my fingers for this weekend.

2. For a husband who is handy and crafty and builds beautiful bookcases and who is very talented with creative design.

3.  For the ability to work from home with my husband.  I love doing a family business.  I've learned that we work really well together.  We fly into action and just magically know what needs to be done.  I'm actually very impressed with us :).  I wasn't sure how it was going to be.  Plus, this is a big plus, Josh has been able to be so much more involved with Carson's parenting.  They have really bonded lately and it's fun co-parenting together.  I'm also forced to be home and even though I'm working, I find I have a lot more one-on-one time with Carson. 

4.  For coffee.  I had two cups this morning and that's the only reason I'm functioning enough to be able to even blog right now.

5.  For a God that provides.  I know I've said that before but I am truly in awe of his love and provision for us.  Maybe because I've never witnessed it so clearly before or maybe because my eyes are finally opened enough to see what has already been occurring. 

Monday, June 14, 2010


Because of the fact that I am starting an antiviral treatment in less than 2 weeks, I have that short amount of time to wean Carson.  It has been bittersweet.  He's the type of child who could nurse until well after 2 years of age so I feel bad that I am having to take action to wean him so "early."  I had always wanted him to self-wean when he was ready (with limits, I wouldn't go as far as nursing a kindergartner).  The daytime weaning has been fairly easy.  He is such an active little boy that holding nursing off and using distraction has worked really well and he actually seemed ready for that.  Nighttime is a whole different story.  He will fall asleep with a bottle now but the 5am nursing has been the most difficult.  That one we are taking slowly.  He has been doing well with nursing for a short time and then taking a binky.  But as things tend to go, you take one step forward and two steps back.  This morning he started nursing and with vigor so I waited a little longer and then asked Josh to go get a bottle of almond milk.  Josh came back with the bottle and I broke Carson's latch and the rest was heart break.  He quietly yelled "don't" and then "owie" over and over.  Carson says owie when his heart hurts, not just when he gets a boo boo.  It's his way of communicating with us and I appreciate knowing how he feels.  It is tough to hear though and it makes me want to say, well maybe rest will be enough to kick this present Epstein-barr flare up.  It's sad that he his having to grow up faster in this way because of my health.  I feel bad that there has to be this issue, but I also know it needs to be done for me and for any future babies.  I want to kick this infection before getting pregnant again.  I'm sure Carson will survive this time just fine. That's sensible logic talking but my mommy side is having a harder time.  We are fortunate that he has gotten to nurse for 18 months and I've enjoyed the entire time.  Maybe because we had to fight for the ability to nurse in the beginning.  It took us a month to successfully breastfeed and there was a lot of effort involved, including sleepless nights of bottle feeding and then pumping.  So when breastfeeding was finally established it felt like a gift and one I've appreciated very much.  I'm grateful that I got to experience it and that I didn't give up when successful breastfeeding felt impossible.  I'm also very grateful that Josh has been supportive of it from the very beginning.  He was just as excited about our success as we were.  He has also given me a lot of emotional support while my body continually changed through the process of pregnancy, postpartum, breastfeeding, and now weaning.   I'm sad this chapter for Carson and I is coming to a close, but I love that we get to now move on to a new chapter.  One filled with adventure and discovery. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Life Lessons & Grateful Firday

So I have learned two things these last few weeks.  One is that simplifying is a lot harder than it sounds.  You think since it has the word simple in it, all would go smoothly but when there is no where to put your things, it becomes a little less simple.  It is a freeing feeling getting rid of clutter, but it's a long process.  Not something you can do in a weekend.  There is now a path in the garage around our worldly possessions but we still have a long way to go.  

The second thing I've learned is that date nights are a necessity for a healthy marriage.  It isn't a frivolous want.  Josh and I went on a double date with friends a couple evenings ago and it was a blast.  We went bowling and then out to dinner.  I even indulged in a glass of wine and didn't worry about how it would effect my breast milk.  I decided that Carson could sacrifice a night of going to sleep without nanas so mama could have some sanity.  It actually worked out really well.  He fell asleep with a bottle of almond milk.  He hasn't repeated that since but I was grateful for that one night.  We didn't spend a lot of money on this evening out and it was great for our marriage.  We have let life get in the way so much and really the whole point to this move was so that we could do things like go on dates and not be too exhausted. 

I have been reading through The Attachment Parenting Book by William Sears, M.D. and Martha Sears, R.N. again and they really stress throughout the book how important a healthy marriage is to the well being of the whole family.  It also stressed the importance of not getting burned out as a parent and taking time out for yourselves as a couple and individually and to set boundaries.  With us being tight financially and all the stress that has been going on lately, we've let date nights and personal time go by the wayside.  It has taken a toll.  Thankfully, it's an easy fix.  For some reason, I didn't pick this message up the first time I read through the book.  Maybe because I was focusing on just my role as a mother.  This time I'm reading it through as a Mother and a Wife and it's been very encouraging.  I'm excited to start this new chapter in our life where we have a little more balance and I'm thankful that our new life style can accommodate that. 

Also, this is big news in our little family.  We recently discovered the cause of my chronic fatigue.  I have had mono for 12 years.  Well, once you have it, I guess it's not something that really ever goes away, but some people have recurring flare ups and I'm one of those people.   The second my Naturopath thought this might be the issue, I immediately had an aha moment.  When I was 13 years old I had an episode of a really sore throat, extreme exhaustion, and lymph nodes so swollen they looked like tumors on my neck.   My mom took me to see the doc and even through I was a teenager they for some reason thought it was leukemia.   They tested my blood, which did show extremely high white blood cell count.  So I had to go in a month later to see if they had gone done because if not, they were going to continue on with testing for...cancer.  My count was down when they tested again and even though I still had fatigue they couldn't figure out why so they sent me on my way.  So here I was sitting there 12 years later in another doctor's office going duh!!!!  Because I didn't know I ever had mono, during these flare ups I didn't know to rest.  I would continue on as normal just very very tired and my neck would ache from my swollen lymph nodes and because I never just stopped, I didn't give my body a chance to heal and it would drag out the flare up for a month or more.  This would happen about 2 to 3 times a year.  Now that I know what the cause was, I can now take measures to prevent it and I know what to do when it happens.   Although through this process I've been finding a lot of emotional issues I need to deal with.  It's been a hard and raw process.  Naturopath's look at the person as a whole including emotional stress.  The first thing he said to me is how do you handle stress?  Stress is 90% perception and you perceive too much.  At first I wanted to get defensive, but then shortly I admitted that yes, I am easily stressed.  I am overly sensitive.  He also pegged me as a person that doesn't set boundaries for myself.  My jaw hit the floor.  All I could say was, you're right.  He suggested I see a counselor to heal emotionally, learn to set boundaries, and for stress management tools.  It was hard to hear that a lot of my physical ailments were caused by emotional issues.  It seemed silly and trivial and somehow my fault.  It's nice to have the answers though.  Plus now that Josh knows what is going on, he can pitch in to help me get some rest when it's needed (like now).  I was proud of myself for all that I have accomplished with active mono infections.   I was sad that I have wasted so much time being tired, when there was a pretty easy fix.  It's nice looking to the future though and God has timing for everything.  I was also relieved to know that recurring infections are not contagious.  That made me feel better because I could barely sleep the night after finding out thinking about who I might have infected.  I thought of my sisters first, then friends in high school, and of course Josh and Carson.  It was a scary thought to me so that was a big relief! 

Alright, I know this post is long enough but here is my list for this last week of what I am grateful for:

1.  That we discovered a cause for my fatigue (and it wasn't all in my head...gotta love validation).

2.  That we are starting to get settled in our new home and loving it!

3.  For a child who makes me laugh daily. 

4.  For wonderful friends and awesome date nights. 

5.  That God answers prayers. 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I'm presently paralyzed from exhaustion.  Moving has been harder than I thought it would be and I knew it was going to be hard.  It's much more difficult to downsize then I thought.  I try to unpack and I have no where to unpack it.  Our new garage is piled high with our stuff and I'd really like to clear it out but every time I try to grab a box I either have no place to put the items or the box is too heavy for me to carry on my own.  Josh has been busy with the construction process and taking care of the old house so it's just been me and Carson.  I'm looking forward to this weekend when we can hopefully start to make some progress!   Also, the basement not being 100% finished and not looking like a home is bothering me more than I thought it would.  There is a ton of potential space but it has stuff in it that has to be taken care of and then finished...sheet rock, mud, and paint...the whole 9 yards.  But since it's a basement we can't just throw sheet rock up.  There are ducts and pipes that have to be boxed around.  Not to mention the cost and the fact that we have no money to pay for it.  We'll be having a yard sale soon and I hope we can make enough to cover some of the cost.  I want the basement completed sooner than I thought. 

It also bothers me that the home is not yet ours.  It's surprisingly emotionally difficult going from home owners to living in someone else's property.  We're working hard to change that.  Lots of research involved since it's not so easy to combine residential real estate and business. 

Despite the stress, it has been nice just waking up and walking up the stairs to work.  Gotta love that.  Carson has been adjusting well.  There was some heart break the first couple days.  We went back to the old house for something and Carson squealed when we pulled in the drive and then when we went to leave, he had a MAJOR melt down.  He displayed more emotion then we've ever seen in him before.  He was arching his back and flailing around refusing to get in his car seat and pointing to the house.  It brought me to tears.  I know he'll soon think of this new place as our home too, but it's probably a little confusing because he knows it's Daddy's work.  Josh had a good idea that as soon as we're all moved in and we have his play area set up, when I walk down the stairs I tell him "let's go home and then we're home."  I'm sure he'll soon recognize it as our space and so will we.