Tuesday, June 2, 2015

40 Things I’ve Learned in 40 Years (in no particular order)

1.       Family is the most important thing.
2.       Good friends are hard to come by so keep the ones you’ve got.
3.       Books are the best entertainment.
4.       Kids are hard work.
5.       But kids are also unbelievably amazing.
6.       Unexpected gifts are usually the best ones.
7.       Chocolate chip cookies will cure almost everything.
8.       Being sick is never any fun but having sick kids is worse.
9.       Traveling by train is better than traveling by car or plane.
10.   Amazon has everything.  (Some recent things I’ve ordered: a mermaid tail, a coloring book designed for adults, books for homeschooling, prenatal vitamins, Kind bars, and extra bottles for my Sodastream machine.)
11.   Music is nice but sometimes silence is just better.
12.   Prayers do get answered.
13.   A good nap always makes you feel better.
14.   There is almost never just one right way to do something.
15.   It is better to have integrity than to have money.
16.   Be yourself.
17.   No one else really cares about what you’re wearing so wear whatever you want (except maybe don’t take style cues from peopleofwalmart.com).
18.   Sometimes you just need to color.
19.   Always carry a water bottle because someone will be thirsty.
20.   Depression sucks.
21.   Completely clearing your email inbox can be a major accomplishment so feel proud of yourself.
22.   Be honest.
23.   Wear comfortable shoes.
24.   I really don’t like raisins.
25.   Black and white photographs are more interesting than color photographs.
26.   You are good enough.
27.   Taking a walk does clear your head.
28.   Making your bed in the morning isn’t really that hard (but I still don’t do it very often).
29.   Memories are better than things.
30.   Sometimes you just need to binge watch a good TV show (or even a bad one).
31.   You can choose to be happy but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do.
32.   It’s good to follow your dreams because you never know where they might lead you.
33.   Travel is good for the soul.
34.   Being near the water is relaxing.
35.   Splurge on a good mattress.
36.   Say thank you.
37.   Be kind.
38.   Don’t waste your time with negative people.
39.   Math is fun.
40.   Laughter is the best medicine so be silly.

Monday, June 1, 2015

My Rainbow After the Storm

Tomorrow I will be 40 years old and I will also be 30 weeks pregnant.  Just writing that statement brings tears to my eyes.  I’m happy and sad at the same time.  There is nothing wrong with my baby and I am not sad about being pregnant.  I am overjoyed about this baby and can’t wait to meet her.  The tears come because of everything that led to me being pregnant for my 40th birthday (which was certainly not in my life plan).  

This is my sixth pregnancy but I only have two children.  I had three miscarriages between 2013 and 2014.  I thought the first one was the worst thing that ever happened to me.  It involved two trips to the ER and minor surgery.  It happened right before Thanksgiving.  I couldn’t get over it.  I went through the holidays in a daze.  

Then January came and I thought the new year would be better.  I was so wrong.  Just a few days later, my son, Julian, got sick.  He had a high fever for days and his eyes were bright red and the doctors didn’t know what was wrong with him.  I was caring for him day and night and then he was hospitalized for Kawasaki disease.  The stay in the hospital was awful.  The IV treatment he needed lasted 12 hours and then we had to stay for 24 hours to make sure his fever didn’t come back.  He came home and seemed better but his fever returned and he was back in the hospital a few days later for a second treatment.  The stay in the hospital was easier the second time because he was allowed to go to the playroom and he had a more comfortable hospital room.  But he consumed all of my energy.  I barely saw my husband or my daughter.  I was strangely grateful that I wasn’t pregnant while having to deal with all of that stress.  When we went home from the hospital the second time, Julian seemed much better and he looked better.  Then the fever returned and blood tests showed that the treatment still hadn’t worked.  We ended up at the hospital for a third time but this time, we had to go to Seattle because Julian needed to see specialists and get a different kind of treatment since the others hadn’t worked.

My mom came to the hospital with us and stayed overnight with us for the first two nights and she was amazing.  I had a meltdown on the second morning when Julian threw his cup of chocolate milk with his aspirin in it.  He had been on 20 aspirin a day for over two weeks by that time and it was torture trying to get him to take it, whether at home or at the hospital.  When he threw that cup, I finally lost it and said some choice words.  My mom told me to take a break and leave the hospital for a couple of hours.  So I did since I knew she would take care of him just as well as I could.  We left the hospital the next day and never went back.  Even though the treatment worked, he still didn’t fully recover for several months after that.  He tired very easily and hardly ate and we had lots of follow-up visits with his pediatrician and his cardiologist.  (In fact, we just had another follow-up with his cardiologist this week and everything looks great.)  

As Julian continued to recover, I found out that I was pregnant again at the beginning of March.  I couldn’t believe it and didn’t want to get my hopes up.  Just two weeks later, I miscarried.  Before my first one, I kind of imagined that it would just last a day or two and then be over.  But that is definitely not the case.  My second miscarriage lasted eleven days and for at least two of those days, I hardly moved from my recliner and heating pad.  The pain was intense and sometimes felt like being in labor.

After that, I forced myself to feel better.  I walked for almost an hour every day and started training for a 5K.  I was doing pretty good until the week before Father’s Day.  The first baby that I lost had been due on Father’s Day and for that week, that’s all that I could think about.  I was in tears constantly.  Then on that Saturday night before Father’s Day, I found out that I was pregnant again.  I couldn’t believe it.  I wasn’t sure that I could allow myself to be happy about it.  

When I was about 8 weeks along, I went to the OB because I wasn’t feeling well.  She did an ultrasound and said that she saw the heartbeat and that everything looked fine and the baby was measuring just over 6 weeks.  I left the office feeling vaguely reassured but also confused because I knew there was no way the baby could only be 6 weeks.  But I just hoped the doctor was right and everything was fine.  Two weeks later, I knew it wasn’t.  When I realized that I was going to lose my third baby, it felt like I fell into a hole and I was never going to get out.  I barely left the house and my kids watched TV all the time.  I ate whatever junk food was available and curled up in my bed.

It took me a few months and the help of a good therapist to finally feel better again.  I was referred to the infertility clinic for some testing to see if there was a reason for the multiple miscarriages.  They did a few tests and everything was normal so they said it was probably just my age and that I should try to get pregnant again.  But if I did get pregnant again, their clinic would support me and give me early ultrasounds to check on the baby.

On December 1st, I found out that I was pregnant again.  I was very worried but slightly hopeful too.  I had an ultrasound at 6 weeks that was good, then another at 9 weeks that showed the baby moving.  The doctors said that after seeing that, my chances of another miscarriage had dropped to 3%.  I finally relaxed a little.  I started to actually plan for a baby.  I had more ultrasounds at 12, 16, 19, and 20 weeks.  I just had my last one at 28 weeks.  I started feeling the baby move at around 16 weeks and she has been kicking like crazy ever since.  

My rainbow baby is a girl and the name we’ve chosen for her means “bright.”  She has brought the light back into my life and I can’t wait to meet her. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pinterest Inspired Me

I do not like to cook or bake.  I did like to bake once upon a time in college but ever since then, I have just hated to be in the kitchen. 

Then I saw this picture of a brownie pie on Pinterest.  Brownies are okay but I'm fine with or without them.  They're not something I ever crave but if my mom makes a batch, I'll eat some.  However, I saw this pie and thought that it looked very delicious and the recipe is super easy.  So I told my family that I would make one for Thanksgiving and I did.  Tomorrow, we'll see how it tastes and if it lives up to my expectations.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Toy Clutter

I decided that we need to downsize Julian's toys before Christmas rolls around.  I know that he's getting new toys and he has a lot that he doesn't really play with. 

Right now, Julian's three main categories of toys are cars, trains, and tools.  Those are the things that he constantly plays with all day long.  So I figured most of his other toys can go.  I loaded up one grocery bag so far and will probably go through some more tomorrow.  There are plenty of other toys here for him to play with since my parents have a playroom fully stocked with all kinds of stuff.  I think I might help them cull a few things from there too. 

Julian has a few other special toys that he likes and I'll just put them away in a drawer for now to be rotated out later.  I keep thinking about all the toys we have in storage that he doesn't remember and doesn't need.  Most of those will be donated as soon as we get the stuff out of storage.  There are a few I'll keep for Mati but I really want to keep toys to a minimum so my kids will really enjoy the toys they do have.

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Am Not Patient

I am horrible at waiting for things.  I never wait until Christmas or my birthday to see if I'll get a gift that I've been wanting.  I just buy myself things when I want or need them.  Patience is not my strong suit.  Right now, I'm waiting to hear if our mortgage loan got approved.  My lender said the process would probably take 3 days.  It's been a whole week now (okay, I know the weekend doesn't count but still).  I've been trying to keep myself busy doing other things but the waiting is driving me crazy. 

At the same time, I'm waiting for Brian to call.  So right now is not a good time for me since my patience is being tested from all sides.  Hopefully I will learn something from the experience.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sometimes You Just Have to Laugh

Today I was changing Julian's diaper and he started to pee but he managed to pee in his own face before I realized what was happening.  So I quickly blocked the flow but it just kept coming.  By the time he was done, he had to go straight into the bathtub because he had pretty much soaked himself.  I was laughing the whole time (mostly for the times he peed on me when he was an infant).  It wasn't really funny but if I hadn't laughed, I would have probably cried.  There are so many moments as a parent where the situation is crazy or overwhelming and you could just lose it so you have to laugh to release the stress and the tension.

Later in the day, I heard a strange noise from the dining room where Julian was playing.  I went in there to check on him.  He had discovered a canister of oatmeal on the table and emptied the entire thing into an empty Tupperware container that happened to be on the table next to it.  He had spilled hardly any of the oatmeal on the table and he seemed like he was having fun.  I walked into the living room and laughed before going back to help him return the oatmeal to its canister.  He's always getting into everything.  This time, he hadn't destroyed anything or found anything dangerous, he was simply having fun with oatmeal.  I figure maybe that's a new activity we can do together next time.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Not My Day

I went to the doctor today to get some things checked out.  You never want to hear a doctor say, "It's worse than I thought."  It's just not good.  The procedure that followed was even worse.  It was not a happy day for me.  But hopefully everything will be good now.  That's all I have to say.