Welcome to Pleasantville
Where I just moved kinda reminds me of a modern day “Pleasantville”. No traffic, perfectly pruned yards, even the strip malls seem clean. Everyone I met so far is super friendly, and the only thing offensive is the humidity. And yes, it is a bit… homogenous. I suppose that comes standard in a small Midwest town.
On Tuesday, Calvin started Pre-K at Pooh Bear Childcare. Yesterday, he started his tumbling class at The Little Gym. And he is IN LOVE. That boy thrives on social interaction far more than I ever did, craves it like candy. Sure, he can be shy to start, but he warms up fast and can turn into the class clown!
Thomas takes a nap shortly after we drop Calvin off at school, so that means FREE TIME for me! Two hours of uninterrupted bliss! I hope to spend a majority of that time getting back to what I love – web design – and blogging. I feel terrible about not posting as often as I should.
Lots has happened since my last post – moving to Wisconsin being a big one. But instead of trying (and failing) to remember it all, I will just recap the past month:
– On July 29th, I flew down to California with the boys. We spent the next three weeks visiting family and friends in SoCal, and getting ridiculously awesome tans.
– A highlight of our trip was going to Legoland, though I dare say Calvin had the most fun. Poor Thomas is just a “Hair” too short and too young for most of the attractions there. 😛
– We found friends quick when we moved here! The first Saturday, we were invited to a birthday party at Little Amerikka (ugh, I shudder to purposely misspell, but that is what it is called). It was like a giant carnival in the middle of nowhere – with a train:
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Today was a bad day. We were at the church building for the last music makers class of the season (ever), when Calvin said he was thirsty. So we took a trip to the drinking fountain and gave each boy a turn. As I was lifting Calvin up to drink water, I heard Thomas scream. I looked down. His hand was covered with blood. I dropped Calvin, scooped Thomas up, and tried to stop the bleeding. I grabbed paper towels from the bathroom nearby. Covered his finger. It kept bleeding. The other moms in the nursery room helped as best they could. One brought a first aid kid and offered some band-aids. We finally got the bleeding under control. One mom assured me it wouldn’t need stitches, just to keep it in bandages, and since it seemed to have stopped bleeding, I felt reassured.
As the day went on, Thomas’ finger would occasionally start to bleed again. And each time, I would put a little pressure on it, add a new bandaid, and things would calm down. When Brian got home, he looked at it and at first thought it would be ok. But as I was giving Thomas his bath tonight, his finger started bleeding again. We looked closer and realized the cut was worse than we thought. More like filet of finger. Thomas had stuck his little pointer finger in the steel vent of the water fountain, and when he tried to remove it, cut it against the sharp edge of the vent. We decided to take him to the emergency room (urgent care was already closed), and the doctor said it was an ablution. I had to hold Thomas as the doctor pulled his cut apart to clean it. It broke my heart to hear him crying in pain. They glued his cut together and put a splint and gauze on it. Overall, he was such a brave little boy. Once we distracted him, he calmed down and even kept his hand still.
I know, I know… I have boys. These things will happen. But I hate to see my kids in pain and distress, to feel so helpless…
Bloom Where You’re Planted
So… I realize it has been far too long since I updated, and far too much has happened to give any in depth explanation. I apologize. But I will try to sum up as best I can all that’s happened in the past few months:
– Brian’s parents sold their house (they’ve lived in it about 40 years, so… yeah. Big deal)
– His parents also bought a new house, which they plan to move into at the beginning of July
– Brian extended his contract with Apex until July 17
– We moved into a new condo in Klahanie neighborhood, Issaquah
– ETC finally responded to Brian’s job application – he passed the phone interview, had a (crazy) in person interview, and got offered the job
– Brian accepted the job, meaning we will need to move to Wisconsin in a few months
A while back, his mom shared some concerns she had about us moving to Issaquah. Brian made a very insightful comment: “Don’t worry. We will bloom where we’re planted”
I like that. Despite my reservations (believe me, there are many), I am reminded that we must choose to make the best of any situation. When we look for the best, we usually find it. The same can be said of the opposite. The first year we lived with Brian’s parents was very hard for me. It wasn’t the ideal situation to begin with, but my attitude just made things worse. Instead of focusing on our many blessings, I was frustrated. Brian and I hit a big pothole in our relationship about that time, and in the process of picking up the pieces, I had to change my perspective. I focused less on the minor annoyances in my day and tried to change what I still had control over – my attitude. Learning to be more positive helped mend my relationships and helped me reclaim the hope that circumstances would improve. And they did.
Now, I’ll be honest. Moving to Madison, WI is not on my bucket list. In fact, I was a bit “chilly” to the idea from the start. But when Brian honestly asked me how I felt about it, I told him “It feels right”. I know it is his dream job, and I would hate to force him to make a choice he would later regret. All my reservations are really quite petty, and based on ignorance. And I do not function well with ignorance. As I’m “doing my homework”, I feel calmer about the decision and constantly remind myself of Brian’s quote.
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Hair Family Annual Report for 2014
Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year’s! As per usual, the holidays flew past – too much to do, and not enough time to do it. This past year has been quite a challenging year for our family.
Top 5 Highlights
- Thomas was born on March 18th – and he has already taken his first steps at 9 months! Precocious (and precious) little one
- Brian started and finished his internship with Pivotstream. Now, on to the arduous task of finding a job…
- We got rear ended just a few weeks ago and had to take our dear “Red” (as Calvin calls it) to the shop. Fortunately, we all walked away without an injury.
- In October, Calvin fractured the tip of his thumb – he got it stuck in the hinge of the car door as it was closing (ouch!) and we had a harrowing trip to the emergency room. So grateful for their service and for Calvin’s recovery though!
- In July, we went to see Thomas the tank engine at the Snoqualmie Railway Museum. We got to meet Thomas the train and even ride him past the waterfalls!
We drove down to Portland for Christmas and spent the day at my mom’s. It was fun to see everyone, but exhausting – driving six hours with two small children usually is! And we all caught a cold shortly afterward. Yay.
Brian is working hard to apply for a job now, so we are all hopeful that 2015 will be the year we find our own home and settle down as a family. We are so grateful for Brian’s parents and all the assistance we’ve received this past year. We love our family so much!
For more family photos, click here
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I don’t want to get lost
I love watching Calvin as he grows older and develops his own unique personality. Most 3 year olds always ask “Why???” But not Calvin. Instead, he is constantly asking, “How does this work?” And often finding out for himself by taking things apart, or using them in unusual ways. But he has grown much more mindful, and will ask if he can do something first.
I try to explain as much as I can, or admit I don’t know. If it’s safe to explore, I encourage him to find out. If not, I explain why.
Tonight, as we walked home from the playground, I explained to Calvin that he had to hold on to the stroller as we walked so he wouldn’t get lost. He did, except at one point when we approached a big excavator truck. He loves trucks, and got so excited that he started to run ahead. But then he stopped, turned and ran back to the stroller. Grasping the handle, he said to me, “Mom, I don’t want to get lost.”
So he really does listen and understand… Sure, he shows defiance at times, but he is one smart cookie.
Pirate Boot Camp
Stop yer pillaging
and lend me an ear
I have a message for ye to hear!
If ye want to be a pirate,
ye must pass my test
And yes, if ye be wonderin’,
at the end is a treasure chest!
The message above was the start of a three day boot camp for pirates. The idea came to me late Saturday night, when I learned that we would be watching my nephews for three days this week. My nephew Bryce loves pirates, so naturally, I made that the theme of all the games we played. Man Overboard, Walk the Plank and Cannonball Attack were just a few of the games that were part of the boot camp. I wanted to take photos, but when I asked Bryce if I could, he simply said “No, we don’t need pictures. I’ll remember this forever.” I guess it was a hit
We tried to include Calvin in the games as well, though some had to be scaled down to a three year old’s level. Sometimes I forget he is only three – he is such an articulate, precocious kid. He has this uncanny ability to stay happy, even when his cousin is brooding or annoyed. He’s like a spirited little puppy nipping at your ankles, always eager to play. Thomas is such a calm and easygoing baby too – patiently playing on the floor or chilling in the carrier as we ran around playing the games. The only time he’s ever a bit grumpy is when he’s in pain from teething or super tired. I feel kinda spoiled by his sleeping habits, really.
Speaking of Thomas, I really want to make sure I jot down some changes since my last post. At 3 months, he got his first two teeth on the bottom. Now, at nearly 5 months, his top two are breaking through as well. And his hair is growing an amazing shade of light auburn. It’s still very fine in texture (unlike Calvin’s) but there is more of it. Oh, and he can sit up with assistance now – and he loves to bounce! (Also with assistance, of course)
Here are some random photos of recent adventures:
In July, we went to “A Day Out with Thomas the Train” over in Snoqualmie. Highlight of Calvin’s week, month, possibly life.
On August 3rd, Thomas was given a baby blessing at our church. A few family members from Brian’s side made it as well, and we all gathered at his grandparents’ house afterward.
This moment was too cute not to capture. Calvin loves to do everything Daddy does.
The most recent photo of Calvin and Thomas playing with playdough. Thomas is a sneaky little baby too – managed to grab a fistful of dough and tried to eat it before I could even blink!
Bedtime for the Boys
I am so grateful to Brian for helping with bedtime – our current sleeping situation is admittedly a bit different from the “norm”, but it is what works for now. For those who don’t know (which would pretty much be everyone except Brian’s parents, maybe even them?), Brian sleeps with Calvin in his old bedroom that has the full bed, while I sleep with Thomas in the smaller bedroom. Not out of any sort of marital strife or relationship type issues – it’s just that the two boys have to sleep in separate rooms (for Thomas’s sake and safety really, Calvin loves him a bit too rough). Both rooms are too small to fit a crib, and I really prefer co-sleeping with baby for the first few months anyway. I enjoy my sleep far too much
So for now, Brian tends to lead Calvin along the bedtime routine – brushing teeth, changing diaper, reading, rough housing and finally (eventually) sleeping. In the past, I have tried to put Calvin to bed while holding Thomas, but it proved far too stressful. It’s pretty much impossible for Calvin to settle down when Thomas is within poking distance.
Brian is currently working at one job during the day and his internship later on towards evening, so bedtime is about the only solid block of time Calvin gets to see daddy. And he loves his daddy so. Just today, when Brian had to leave to help a ward member with tech questions, Calvin ran after him crying, “Daddy, don’t leave!” Then with teary eyes, “I miss daddy.”
Getting Thomas to sleep is far simpler – and currently something only I can do anyway, for the moment at least. I’ve noticed every baby has its own rhythm or schedule that starts to form around 3 months. Up until that point, they sleep so much, it’s a bit harder to gauge. But I am noticing that Thomas gets sleepy around the same times – 9:30 for a short morning nap, then 12:30 or 1 for afternoon, then another short nap later towards 6 or so. He fusses a lot in the evenings just before going down to sleep, but usually a good feeding will cure that. He is the best little sleeper ever – and I’m so grateful for that! Sometimes I have to wake him a bit to change his diaper in the middle of the night – but otherwise he would sleep straight through til 7 am!
Oh, and totally off topic but too cute not to share:
Calvin has just recently discovered that stickers are fun
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A Season of Changes
I feel terrible about my lack of updates on here, and my general vagueness when I do post anything, so I’m going to make an effort to be a little more forthright from now on. There’s no doubt in my mind that these past few months have been an important “hinge” in my life, as well as a time of preparation and of changes for my family. For that reason, I will try and summarize as best I can what’s been going on these past few months.
At the end of August, we moved from Rexburg to Bellevue temporarily, to stay with Brian’s parents while he searched for an internship. (As a side note, I just recently found out that he has until June 9th to secure an internship and get all the paperwork/registration completed. If I had known that six months ago, maybe I would have been less stressed out… or not. Oh well.) At first, I thought it would be for just a few weeks. Never imagined it would last beyond Christmas. I did have a strong suspicion that I might be pregnant at the time, but it wasn’t until I was 12 weeks along (September) that I officially took a pregnancy test and confirmation. So finding out we were expecting along with the whole adjustment of moving was quite a challenge – emotionally and physically. I’m very much independent and like to be self-reliant, so it is humbling to have to rely so heavily on others for so much.
I know it’s taken a toll on Brian as well, though I can only speak from observation and what he has told me. Toward the end of November, he was able to start working for an old boss – a “temporary” job that continues to this day. He does pretty much anything and everything his boss needs – “catch” shirts, serve as courier, handyman, etc. Meanwhile, the internship search continues. It has been a huge trial of faith for both of us – applying and waiting and waiting some more, hopefully soon an answer of some sort will come.
I have slowly adjusted to life here, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. Calvin and I attend music maker classes on a somewhat weekly basis. I had little Thomas on March 18th, and feel so blessed to be entrusted with such a precious little spirit. I love watching how affectionate Calvin is with his new little brother, even though he still needs to learn to be a bit more gentle at times.
Little Thomas has had a small bit of medical issues already – he was born with hydrocele where his umbilical stump was and a cyst down below… the pediatrician assured us that both are benign, nothing to really be concerned about, so that is a relief. We just have to watch him over the next few months.
Since having a baby, I’ve tried to limit work stresses as much as possible; I stopped working at LWD, where I was a “mentor” for web design students – basically answering emails and providing technical support. I may pick up the odd job on occasion, but I would rather focus on my kids right now.
… Aaand Thomas is fussing, so I will wrap this post up. Probably should anyway, I’ve rambled on long enough
Here is a link to photos of baby Thomas: https://plus.google.com/photos/106617262831750383621/albums/5995623976136050865
Enduring to the End
Now that I finally have my hands free (thank you mei tei wrap!) and a few minutes to breathe, I thought I’d share a condensed version of Thomas’ arrival into the world and some lessons I’ve learned as well. Now that I’ve given birth twice, I can’t help but compare the experiences, and marvel at the comparative ease of my first. Oh, and by the way – anyone who dares say the second labor is faster or easier is LYING!! It really irks me to hear that now, since my experience was the exact opposite.
Maybe it is a bit unfair to compare the two – since it seems memory gets so fuzzy with time. But I’m quite certain with Calvin, the labor experience actually got more bearable over time. I never even experienced that famous “ring of fire” or panic-stricken transition that so many moms describe. (Bear in mind, these are experiences of other moms who chose unmedicated labor. Obviously those wouldn’t apply to moms who had an epidural or c-section, since they would be numb at that point anyway).
This time around, I feel like I had the full classic labor experience – and all the pain other moms so readily tell you about. I’m sure my attitude at the time didn’t help – I was, shall we say, just a tad bit frustrated and impatient – being anemic probably didn’t help much either. It really is walking through the valley of the shadow of death, and the miracle of it all is, you don’t just survive, you get the most awesome little bundle of joy as a prize.
I chose a birth center this time around as well, which is probably the only reason I was able to go drug-free at all. To be completely honest, I was sooo wanting an epidural as I headed to the birth center, totally exhausted and ready to give up. But that wasn’t an option – not even discussed – and instead the midwives calmly led me through different birthing options, then finally into the tub. I was skeptical about the tub beforehand, but at that point, I felt far too tired to put up any fight. And no, it is not the midwives’ epidural – at least, it didn’t feel that way to me. But in the end, I ended up delivering Thomas in the tub – a waterbirth – which is nowhere near as clean as it sounds!
It’s kind of ironic how so many people have commented about my quick recovery, trying to praise me for bouncing back so quickly. I may be walking around and going places, but mentally I feel whipped. The whole experience really humbled me, and I feel like my admiration for mothers (in general) has expanded so much more. The one tiny thread I clung to as I had to push was the thought that this pain couldn’t last forever – there had to be an end, and I was going to get through it. And really, if the human (female) body can endure that much, we really are more powerful than we give ourselves credit for.
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Our newest bundle of joy
Born March 18, 2014 @ 7:17am, 8 lbs 5.5 oz, 20″ tall
Clues to his name:
– named after my very great grandparent who was martyred at Haun’s Mill
– also happens to have ties with other family members on both sides
– shares the same name as one of Calvin’s favorite characters
– and even shares a name with Hobbes… Sort of
Can you guess what it is?
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