Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ugh... and other random thoughts.

My blog has turned into a photo gallery of my kids. I'm not sure if that's okay. Is it? The lack of sleep and continuous whining, shouting, crying, and feeding is getting to me. I think my brain has shrunk, and the only tid bits of conversation that I can squeek out are something along the lines of "Nathan hasn't pooped in four days", or "Did you see the seseme street episode where....?". Seriously. This is what my life has come to.

As I sit here, my eyes are burning from being up late last night, and up twice after that to feed Nathan. Lucas is sleeping, after we just spent a half hour in the car listening to the one calming song on our kindermusik CD over, and over, and over again. I am craving chocolate, but trying to use my blueberry green tea to help me over come the intense need. Nathan is sleeping too, in his car seat by the front door where I left him when we got home. This is the first moment of complete quiet I have had in at least a week.
Ahhhh, I am trying to enjoy it.

I had a dream last night that I was trapped underground and couldn't get out. There were all these tunnels and it was so hard to get through them. I finally got to one that had a very small opening to the outside world, and I just stayed there, calling for help. There were a lot of other people trapped too, but Ryan, Lucas, and Nathan weren't there. When we finally got out I was hugging the rescuers over and over again, and then I woke up. At least I got rescued before I woke up! What does this have to do with anything? I don't know. But this is how my brain works lately, going from one random thought to another - Nathan is crying, gotta feed him, Lucas wants his smoothie, gizmo is meowing at me because it is raining and he wont' go outside for his food, I need to pack Ryan's lunch, did I remember to brush my teeth yet, when is the auto insurance due again? Somehow among all of this, I manage to keep my kids clean, fed, safe, and warm, and myself somewhat pulled together, but I can't seem to sit and keep a train of thought long enough to write about it. This is a rare moment, I think.

If it isn't already obvious, I am having a hard day. Yes. I am whining. I am tired. I am crabby. And I just want someone to take care of me for a change. I want to sleep all night long. I want the first shower in the morning. I want to have somewhere important to go. I want dinner cooked for me, laundry folded for me, and the house to magically be clean all the time. Waahh wahhh waaahhhhh.

Ok. I'm done. I will stop whining. It's not productive, and well, Nathan is awake. Sooo.... On with my day!

How's that for a well organized and composed blog post?! :-)

Friday, December 25, 2009

New Year's Resolutions 2010

December 2009 has almost come to and end, and the new year is just around the corner. I have been thinking a lot about resolutions in the last few weeks. Last year I wrote some, intended to follow them all, and only followed a few. I think that is pretty good, considering our lives took an unexpected turn in January with the news of Nathan's upcoming arrival.

This year, I am hoping will be different. It will be busy, of course. Full of firsts for Nathan and lots of activities for Lucas, lots of hard work for Ryan, and me, well, I'll just be trying to help everyone manage it all. Hopefully I can squeeze a little me time in as well.

Here are my resolutions this year...

#1. Eat Better! Myself, and the whole family. And while we're at it, get some exercise too! (yeah, yeah, we all say this, right?! well, I need to actually do it. more veggies and whole grains, less sugar and processed snacks)

#2. Blog more regularly. (this one is a big one for me, blogging is my "me" time... writing is my passion and I want to spend more time doing this for myself)

#3. Less clean up, more fun! (I want to focus less on taking care of the house, and more on playing with the kiddos. Lucas plays so well by himself that I sometimes take advantage of it, and spend all our time cleaning or doing housework. I want to have more one on one time with him doing fun activities, learning new things, and more.)

#4. Recycle, re-purpose, re-use, or re-sell.... instead of storing it in the garage. (I want to have less junk sitting around, and want to get rid of it in the best way possible!)

#5. Shop online or outside rather than in-store. (i.e. farmers markets, garage sales, amazon, etc...this will save me gas, time, and money!)

Friday, November 13, 2009

8 Weeks of Craziness and Love..... Part 1

Nathan is 8 weeks old today. Right about this time of day on September 18th, I was sitting on my couch with my friend Cindy, eating Taco Bell and telling her how I was having strong contractions again. That morning I had woken up to contractions, which was unusual for me. I had had a lot of Braxton Hicks, but never until I had been up and moving around for awhile. Once I got up, my stomach started feeling a little queasy, which I knew was also a sign of labor. However, I had so many plans for the day, I just figured it was nothing and I went along with my day. Visited my parents that morning, contractions were still coming so I got out my timer - nothing regular. My mom and dad looked nervously at me, telling me I was probably going to have the baby that night. I said no way, and was planning to go to Lucas' gym class at 5pm. The contractions went away and I put the thought in the back of my mind, but not before calling Ryan to "warn" him that I was feeling a bit different.
Cindy and I talked and shared pregnancy stories for a few hours while Lucas took a long nap, we laughed at my contractions, saying Nathan probably wouldn't be around for another week or two. She left around 3pm, and shortly afterward, my grandma stopped by to drop off some goodies for us. By the time she left it was about 4:30 and I called Ryan, who convinced me to call the doctor. It was almost 5 on a friday, so he though we should call just in case. I did, and they told me to go to the hospital. I still wasn't convinced, but I agreed.

By the time I called Ryan back and told him to come home, called my father in law to pick up Lucas, alerted my mom and grandma, and grabbed the hospital bags, I was having contractions 5-10 mins apart and they were getting stronger. And by the time we were in the car on our way, I was convinced Nathan was on his way. When we arrived at Labor and Delivery around 5:30 the nurses looked at me and Ryan, unconvinced that we should be there. I think we looked too calm. I started getting annoyed. Then one of them asked if it was our first baby, and when we said no, they sprung into action. I guess it is true that second babies come quicker than the first!

They checked us in to a delivery room for monitoring, and it of course was the same room Lucas had been delivered in. Memories flooded my head and I almost started to cry. Luke's birth had been the most amazing yet difficult and somewhat traumatic experience for me, but I wanted to stay as calm and positive as possible. This time would be different. I just knew it. After an hour or so of monitoring, the nurse told us we would be staying to have our baby! We called our family, sent out text messages, and even alerted facebook!

The labor part went pretty smoothly. I had decided already that I wanted an epidural, so I had that done before the contractions got too painful. I was given some pitocin to speed things up, the on call doctor broke my water, and things started moving quickly. There was a bit of concern because I had a fever when I arrived, and the babys heart rate was elevated. It turned out I was just dehydrated from my extra busy day, in the heat, and I hadn't been drinking much at all. Once I had enough fluids his heart rate went down to normal and everything looked good.

The epidural worked great, but soon I could tell it was time to push. When the nurse confirmed this, I started to cry. The whole thing was so emotional for me. It had been a very personal decision for me to go with a normal delivery rather than follow my doctor's recommendations to have a C Section. I really felt like I was meant to have the true birth experience, and was prepared to deal with whatever happened to my body because of that.

With Ryan on one side of me, my dad on the other, and my mom, Ryan's mom, and my grandma all in the room with us, I had so much emotional support. Things took a bit of a turn when Nathan showed some signs of distress after awhile of pushing. I heard the nurse mention a vacuum, at which point I just closed my eyes, the doctor came running in, and a few minutes later our little miracle arrived, at 11:33pm. He was limp, blue, and not breathing but the amazing nurses took great care of him and within minutes he was perfect. It turned out they didn't need the vacuum. I did it, all by myself. Even with the epidural it was the most intense pain I had ever felt in my life. There were moments I though I couldn't breathe, couldn't push, felt overwhelmingly sick, but I did it anyway, and because of that I feel stronger than I have ever felt in my life.

Once they handed Nathan to me, he never left our sight. That first night, neither Ryan or I slept. We just held him close, marveled over the experience and how happy we were.

To Be Continued.... day 2 and the first 8 weeks.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nathan is One Month Old... and I am 30!

Nathan had his one month doctor appointment on Monday. He weighed 10 lbs, 14 oz, and was 22 inches. So, he has already gained 2 1/2 pounds and one inch! He is growing great, and doing really well. One thing we are a little worried about is his constant grunting and gassiness. He seems quite uncomfortable much of the time, so we are trying some probiotics once a day, and I am going to cut more foods out of my diet (dairy, soy, etc). Hopefully things improve on that end but over all he is doing very well. He is a good sleeper and eater. Last night he slept for 5 1/2 hours, his longest stretch yet. Too bad I didn't go to bed when he did... I was up till about 11 so I only took advantage of a couple hours in a row. The rest of the night he woke up every two hours!
He is starting to interact with us a little more. We have had a few "real" smiles now, and he seems to be making some little faces at us sometimes. He likes to listen to us talk and sing to him, and loves watching our faces. He is such a good little baby. He even is happy to sit in his bouncy seat or swing when his tummy isn't bugging him.

Sooo... in other news... I am 30. Ugh. Everyone (everyone older than 30 that is) says the 30s are the best years, so I am hoping so! I'm thinking they are going to be a little foggy with all this sleep deprivation and focus on the kids for awhile, but I am excited nonetheless. I am happy and proud to have so much to show for my 30 years. Two wonderful little boys that Ryan and I are raising together, already an accomplishment but an exciting challenge as well.
Celebrations were a bit spread out this year. My family's get-together was canceled when my parents and brother ended up with a bad flu and were confined to their house for a few days. Ryan took me out with the boys and I got to pick out some new sunglasses (prescription, yay!) and some other fun stuff. We also got together with Ryan's family over last weekend to celebrate, and went to the pumpkin patch with the kids. They had a hay ride, a train ride, music, a maze, and lots of animals. It was a lot of fun! Now we are back to the daily routine, or at least trying to find a daily routine.....

Saturday, September 12, 2009

37 weeks

We are 37 weeks today. I can't believe how the time has flown by! Where has this pregnancy gone? Today Nathan is considered full term. He can be born any time now and should be able to function perfectly in our great big world. Now, the waiting begins. Ryan and I are so excited to meet him. I can't wait to see his little face, to hear his little voice, to count his little fingers and toes. I can't wait to introduce him to his big brother, his grandparents, and all our friends. This little guy is going to make us a real family of four.

He is going to be lucky as the second child. This time we know more of what we are doing, we won't be quite so clueless, he won't be as much of an experiment in parenting. Hopefully we'll remember the tricks that worked with Lucas and we'll be a little more confident this time around.

I have noticed lately, with my giant protruding belly, that I have a bit more respect in the mom community. Other moms I barely know or don't even know at all are asking me for advice, like I know what I'm doing or something. They see me leading Lucas by the hand as I waddle into his gym class or the grocery store and for some reason they think I have the answer to parenthood. It is the strangest thing, because I still feel like I have to clue what I'm doing. I wonder every day if I am making the right choices for Lucas. I am doing the best I can, and I hope that is good enough. I do remember though, when I was pregnant with Lucas, seeing other moms out in public, wondering how they do it. I'd see moms of two or three and admire them, thinking about what it would be like to be in their situation. Now I am, and it's so surreal!

A lot of moms of one child lately have been asking me how I knew I was ready to have another baby. They wonder how I am going to do it with two boys. I can see in their faces that they are thinking about it, but they are hesitant and a bit scared. Well, the truth is I didn't feel ready yet, but I felt this twinge in my heart, this little hormonal tug that told me it was time. It wasn't common sense or planning, it was my heart, and Ryan's too. We both wanted this, whether we were ready or not and so this surprise pregnancy was in fact a surprise, and not planned at all, but it wasn't an accident. It was what we wanted. And the truth is that I have no clue how I'm going to do it. I am entering into a very challenging time of my life, especially staying home full time. I won't have an outlet or an escape into the adult world except for at playdates, conversations with Ryan or my mom, and maybe a weekly trip to the grocery store if I'm lucky. But I know it's coming this time. I remember the challenges and I know they can only be greater when there are two little ones tugging on my arms and crying when they need something. But at the same time, that is the most wonderful part of this whole situation. There will be TWO little ones. Two sets of little eyes and two little voices calling me Mama, two hugs at bedtime, two hands to hold, and two perfect little people that Ryan and I made and are raising in our family. It just doesn't get much better than that.

Miracle Please, not Medical

I have considered a C Section throughout my pregnancy. Just the thought of going through the trauma I did last time is enough to make most women never want to deliver another baby. But, at the same time, I want a second chance. I want a chance to enjoy the experience, the miracle of the birth process that my body is meant to carry out.

When the doctor and nurses delivered Lucas I thought he was gone. His heart rate was so low and they had to get him out so fast, there was panic on the face of the nurses in the room and I watched as they pounded on his chest and back, harder than I thought was safe for a couple second old baby. I remember saying, "Why isn't he crying?! Is he okay? Why isn't he crying!?". I was crying myself, and I can remember the fear and weakness in my heart, thinking I had lost my baby. I remember my moms face, she was telling me he was okay, over and over. I don't know if she really believed it at the time, but those words made me strong, and when the moment finally came that I heard my son crying for the first time, it was the most beautiful sound in the world.

The experience I had during Lucas' birth was very difficult for me, and the first nine months of physical recover following was a challenge. Dealing with pain for months and months in a part of your body that it isn't so socially acceptable to talk about with others, going though a surgery a couple months after delivery, and feeling like my body wasn't anywhere near normal for almost a year afterwards has been hard, but it has also made me stronger. I got through it. And I can do it again.

I have had people comment on the bond I have with Lucas, they can see how much I love him and how attached he is to me. I think this bond is partly because of the process we went through at birth. Feeling like I almost lost the most precious thing in the world has made me hold on tighter to what I have, and it helps me to appreciate every moment I do have. It gives me patience when I am wavering. It sends me back to reality when I am wrapped up in my own tiredness and frustration. I love Lucas with every ounce of my heart and soul and being his mom has changed my life in the most amazing ways. I am not the same person I was a couple years ago. I am stronger and more confident, I am more me than I have ever been.

So yesterday my doctor brought up a C Section at our weekly appointment. I trust this doctor very much, and I really believe he thinks it is the best thing for me. And I understand the reasoning. He can't guarantee me that I won't have another 4th degree tear unless I opt for surgery. I thought about it more after the appointment. I went home and did a little reading on the cesarean process. I talked with my family. Not everyone will agree with my decision, but I am going to follow my gut instincts, and that is to try for a normal birth again. I want the experience I never had with Lucas. I want the miracle of birth, not the medical option. So that is what we are going to do, unless an emergency comes up and a C Section is necessary for mine or Nathan's safety. I know my doctors will support my decision, and I know my family will too. I believe in my heart that it is the right decision for me, no matter what the outcome may be.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Gluten Free Info for Lucas and I

I have had a lot of requests for info on my gluten free diet lately so I wanted to put something together for friends and family who are interested in helping out when Nathan arrives. Lucas also finally had his celiac testing done and he does have the gene for the disease, so we have to keep him on a gluten free diet as well. Poor Ryan is the minority in our house now!

Here is some basic information:

First of all, here is what we CAN eat:
  • Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)
  • Most dairy products (check yogurts and dairy drinks for other ingredients)
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Rice (except for rice pilaf or most boxed rice mixes)
  • Potatoes
  • Gluten free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato)
  • Gluten free pasta such as rice pasta sold at Lassens, trader joes, and other health food stores
  • Corn - corn tortillas, corn chips, polenta
  • Beans and Legumes

We cannot eat wheat, rye, oats or barley. There are many forms of these grains and they are listed below.
  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Farina
  • Graham flour
  • Semolina
  • Durham
  • Bulgur
  • Kamut
  • Kasha
  • Matzo meal
  • Oats
  • Spelt (a form of wheat)
  • Triticale
Wheat is the tricky ingredient here, it can be found in many foods that you would not suspect it. Here are the common foods to avoid:
  • Breads
  • Cereals
  • Crackers
  • Croutons
  • Pasta
  • Cookies
  • Cakes and pies
  • Soups
  • Gravies
  • Sauces (including soy sauce)
  • Salad dressings
  • Beer
  • Candy
  • Imitation meat or seafood
  • Processed luncheon meats
  • Self-basting poultry
Gluten can also be hidden in many food additives and other items, here are a few more things to avoid:
  • Food additives, such as malt or malt flavoring, modified food starch, hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Medications and vitamins that use gluten as a binding agent
  • Lipstick and lip balms
  • Toothpaste
  • Postage stamps
  • Play dough

For more info.....

On what local restaurants have gluten free food:

On the gluten free diet:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


This is just for fun... a moment I had to capture on camera.
Here is what happened: Lucas dumped the cat food into his water table... I fished it all out and dumped the water. Lucas watched Ruffy eat the cat food off the ground, and then decided he was going to do the same thing, soooooo..... he laid down on the ground and started slurping the water off the cement. For a split second I was going to grab him and bring him inside, but sometimes you have to just let go and let boys be boys.. so I grabbed the camera and enjoyed the moment. (I also made a mental note to start buying gluten free cat food.)
Check out the reflections in the water. You can actually see his expressions better that way.

33 Weeks

Here I am at 33 weeks with Nathan. This picture was in the last blog but I wanted to show it here too, since I'm not too crazy about the bare belly shots below.
I feel huge, have been having lots of contractions, and our last two ultrasounds have shown that Nathan is significantly bigger than average right now. I'm hoping this is just a miss-measurement because I am not wanting to deliver a 9 or 10 pound baby. We'll see what my doctor has to say on Friday...

Here is the belly picture for 33 weeks, and just for fun, compare to the one below that was taken at 39 weeks when I was pregnant with Lucas. Not much different, eh?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Big List is Done

Yesterday I finished the last of my organization projects.... the last on my "before Nathan arrives" list. I went to the office to wipe it off my whiteboard (yes, I'm that nerdy) for some instant gratification, and then I kind of freaked out a little. Ryan walked by and I told him "I'm done with my list! What do I do now?" He told me to sit down. Sit down? Is that really possible? I'm about 33 weeks pregnant and the nesting instinct is so intense right now that I'm about ready to go reorganize the kitchen pantry and cupboards even though they are absolutely fine how they are. For the last, oh 18 weeks or so Lucas and I have been working on all kinds of random household projects together. We spend most afternoons going through things, cleaning, sorting, and organizing. What are we going to do with our afternoons now? I guess we are just going to play!

Nathan's room is almost done. We just have to get a few things on the walls and get the babyproofing done. There's a few things in the attic still to come down, a few things to wash and put back together, but for the most part.... it's ready for his arrival.

Still, I feel just a bit unsettled. I need to come up with more projects! Everything left involves sitting..... yes... SITTING! At my computer, at the desk, at the table, you get the idea. So, I guess for the next 4-7 weeks I will be doing filing, scrapbooking, blogging, menu planning, reading, and twiddling my thumbs while I wait for this little monkey to arrive.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Model in the Making?

Is he a future Calvin Klein model? Or just a regular boy lounging in his underwear with his power tools and football?

Lucas loves his new "big boy" underwear. He gets upset when we try to put on a diaper these days...
We are still a long way from being potty trained, but for now he gets to go diaper free a few times a day.
Check out those legs!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

29 weeks

Saturday was the 29 week mark, I've been in the third trimester for a couple weeks now, and I'm definitely feeling it! This baby can shift my whole belly side to side, up and down, and he loves those sharp kicks in my ribs. I feel huge, but I know I'm just gonna get bigger.... for 11 more weeks!

The July heat has not been fun. Normally I love hot weather (well, hot for Ventura weather) but it is not the greatest feeling when pregnant. With Lucas I was at this stage in November/December, and leaving our window open all night long so the room would stay at 62 degrees, and we had air conditioning. This time, no air conditioning, July, ugh. Oh well, only a little while longer to go!
What am I going to do with Lucas when Nathan comes along???? Hmmmm.... one possible solution is below. What do you think?
Awwww, poor baby, he doesn't know what is coming his way in a couple more months!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Nathan's Room

Here is the start to Nathan's room.....

I picked out some fabrics awhile ago, now I just have to get sewing. The blue one is for new cushions on the glider chair and also is going to be combined with the bird fabric for a quilt and little lovey blanket. I am thinking of making a car seat cover out of the bird fabric too. The yellow monkey flannel is going to just be some fun little burp cloths and maybe a small blanket. The white monkey print is a sheet from babies r us that we are using in the crib, and the cream colored terry cloth is going to be for some changing table covers.
Here is the crib we got at Ikea, it has a drawer underneath for storage, and we also got the canopy from Ikea too, couldn't resist since it fits with our animal theme, and it has leaves along the sides.
We found this red dresser that fits in great with the colors of the room, lots of space for little boy clothes! I picked out the round boxes as well, and we loved the green rug we found for the floor. Again, all Ikea.
And here is the changing table, it is portable, it folds up, and it has lots of pockets for all the baby supplies. We got the little hamper on the side as well. I'm going to make covers for it so I'm not sure how much of the black will show when it's all done.
And here's the glider we found on Craigslist! It's in great shape, I am just making some new cushion covers for it. We got the giant leaf at Ikea, the room is going to be like a jungle when we're done with it!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ryan's Very Own Father's Day Shirt

For father's day this year Lucas and I got together with friends and made special t-shirts for the dads... Here he is after the masterpiece was created, he is posing with his painted blue toes. (Thanks Olivia for the picture!)

And here is proud Daddy, who wore the shirt ALL day! What a good dad!

Zucchini Mania!

Our garden is completely overrun with Zucchini right now, the plants are huge and we have tons of squash to eat! I have been trying to get creative with recipes, and was inspired by a friend's blog recipes last week to try out some new things.

Early in the week I made Zucchini Fries, gluten free and breaded with rice flour, cornmeal, italian seasoning, and salt and pepper. They were crispy and delicious! (Sorry, they got eaten too fast to take a picture)
Next I tried Cream of Zucchini Soup, which as super easy to make. I just sauteed onion and zucchini in olive oil, added some chicken broth, and then pureed it in the food processor. After it was pureed I put it back in the pot and slowly added some whipping cream (you could use milk or half and half for lower fat) and then topped with grated romano cheese. It was delicious and only took about 20 minutes to make.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Letting Go

One thing about pregnancy is that it brings out a slew of emotions, good ones and bad ones. I'm starting this blog, not sure if I will actually post it for the world to see, but full of overwhelming feelings of love, fear, and hope. Last night Lucas woke up crying "Mama" around 2:30, and I went to him. He had a wet diaper, leaking into his pajamas. I changed him, refilled his water cup, and put him back in bed. Then I went back to bed and tried to go to sleep, but I couldn't. For some reason, I was worried. I'm not sure why, I was just worried, maybe that something was wrong, maybe from all the stories I've been hearing about break-ins and murders in Ventura, maybe cause I know there is no lock on one particular window and my wild and hormonal imagination has taken over my pre-pregnancy brain. I lied there in bed, and then noticed Lucas on the video monitor. He couldn't sleep either. He was rolling back and forth, fidgeting, opening and closing his eyes, playing with his cup of water.... why wasn't he sleeping? Was he thinking about something that was bothering him? Did he sense my anxiousness? I wanted to check on him but held off. Soon he was calling "Mama, Mama" again, and I jumped up and went in his room. "Dair", he said, wanting me to pick him up and take him to the rocking chair. Normally I would have tried to get him to just lay down and go back to sleep, but this time I eagerly grabbed him out of his crib and went with him to the rocking chair. He hugged me tight and I let him bury his face in my shoulder while we rocked back and forth for awhile. I wanted to hug him and hold him all night, feeling like as long as he was in my arms he was safe. Safe from what, I don't know... but safe. I finally put him down, and he eventually went back to sleep in his bed, but I was still wide awake - listening to every sound in the house, every peep he made over the monitor. What is wrong with me?! I need to sleep! Eventually I did, and when morning came, I was very tired and very grumpy - that "awakeness" that I had in the middle of the night was completely gone.

Fast forward a couple of hours. I am tired and my whole body doesn't want to move. It is about 8:30 and I am trying to get lucas to take a morning nap since he missed a lot of sleep last night, and I need a break. Ryan says goodbye to me as I'm staring at the video monitor again, wishing Lucas would settle down and go to sleep. I must have looked extra needy, or extra grumpy, or something, because five mintues after leaving for work, Ryan comes back home with a Butterfinger candy bar for me.... I had been craving one the night before. How awesome is he?! I immediately felt better, happier, and more energetic. It's amazing what one simple little thing can do - the fact that he was thinking about me, despite my grumpiness this morning, made the day all of a sudden much better.

The rest of the day has been an additional swirl of emotions... an accident on the freeway - a car upside down with rescue vehicles surrounding it - almost leads me to tears, then all of a sudden I'm thinking about Lucas again. Is he okay? He's spending the day with Nana and Papa, and I know they take excellent care of him, but I am still thinking about him and wondering if he needs his mama right now. I keep thinking about what I will do when Nathan comes. How am I going to give Lucas the attention he needs when I'm busy with a newborn? Lucas needs me so much. I feel like I can understand him so much better than anyone else, because I spend so much time with him. I don't want to lose the close bond that we have when another baby comes into the house. And at the same time I want to develop that close bond with Nathan. I want to be able to give him all the love and attention that I have given to Lucas. I see moms and kids everywhere I go and I wonder what they are thinking. How do they do it? What made them make their decisions about how many kids to have, when to have them. I look at little girls and I wonder if I will ever have a daughter. I look and little boys and think how absolutely blessed I am to have a beautiful son and another one on the way. I wonder how I will feel after Nathan is born. Will I still want more kids? Will I feel like the family is complete? I don't know. I still feel in my heart that I will have one more after Nathan, but will the first glimpse of sanity when Nathan starts playing on his own lead me in a different direction? I have no idea.

Among other worries and emotions these days is the constant desire for some way to be earning income for our family. It feels like we are moving so very very slowly towards our financial goals. We are working so hard and I feel like we are on our way. I can even see the progess we've made over the last year, I just know it is a long journey to get where we eventually want to be. I'm doing my best to save money in every area I can, and Ryan is working so hard at work and with his own company to bring in extra income. I always worry about this, always feel pressure to meet societal expectations - that we should own our house, that we should have a certain percentage in our emergency fund, that we should be doing this or that. It is hard to let go of those pressures, even though I know we are doing the best we can. I wish I had some sort of part time job I could do from home that provided me with a regular income. I am so skeptical of all the internet scams out there, and I've learned I'm not so good at direct sales - or maybe I just couldn't make the time to get out and work at that. With Ryan's schedule at work it's almost impossible for me to have any kind of regular work hours planned for the evening, unless I want to work at 9pm.... not so much.

I've been really focused on Lucas lately. As he develops, I'm noticing a lot of traits about him that make him different than a lot of the other kids we've met. He is more active. He is more perceptive. And he seems to be becoming more intense. I mean, this kid feels emotions so strongly that if he can't express what he feels to me immediatly, his whole body tenses and shakes as his eyes widen with emotion. He seems to hear every sound around him, sees every thing on the ground, in the sky, in the air. He will point out the tiniest sliver of the moon at 2pm when I have to squint and search to see it. He will insist on finding every sprinkler on the lawn before willingly getting in the car. And he is constantly on the go - running, not walking. He rarely sits still. He climbs on everying, jumps on everything, touches everything, and wants to try everything he sees me do. He has also started having a hard time in groups of people for long periods of time. He seems to get overwhelmed and wants to run away after about 20 or 30 minutes, or he wants me to hold him. He would rather explore the rocks and cracks in the parking lot than sit in his kindermusik class with me and play games with the other kids. So, needless to say, I've been trying really hard to understand these things about him - why he feels this way, what I can do to help him, etc. He is so smart, and he understands so much of what I say to him. I want to be able to help him learn about his world in the best ways possible for him, and I want to go at his pace. But at the same time I want to teach him the things he needs to learn, I want to set rules and boundaries and give him structure. It is hard to find a balance sometimes. My head is swimming and full of all the research and reading I've been doing on discipline, personality types, and child development. I think sometimes I care too much about doing everything right for Lucas and I need to just let go and follow my instincts.

Which leads me to my "Letting Go" subject line.

I was driving home from Costco this afternoon, after meeting Ryan for lunch and then getting supplies for Jenny and Brian's party tomorrow. Trying to pull a left out of the parking lot, I'm watching the cars coming each direction, seeing a few opportunities to quickly dart out into my lane, I just couldn't put my foot on the gas. I'm tired, my reaction time is slower today, I feel out of sorts and my head is in a million places. I just can't do it. I back up and pull to make a right turn instead, now only having to navigate through one lane of oncoming cars, and feel more confident to be on my way. Once I'm headed my new direction, I notice the back up of cars at the light ahead. Several Semi-trucks are blocking the intersection, causing a major back log of cars that are unable to make their turn at the light. I have the passenger window down because Ruffy is sitting beside me and I hear the lady in the beat up red car next to me cussing at the truck. I pat Ruffy on the head and think about how I kind of smacked him on the behind this morning when he was out of control with excitement and I had been afraid he'd knock Lucas over again. I shouldn't have done that, and I knew that. It was absolutely wrong, and it was me being out of control just like him. He deserves more than that from me. So... all of a sudden I just thought to myself, I need to let go. And I immediately felt better.

I need to let go of worry - worry for Lucas, Nathan, Ryan, myself, and anyone else I care about. I need to let go of my frustrations and stop to breathe rathen than let myself think, say, or do something that is wrong or that I may regret. I need to lead by example, to help Lucas lead a happy and positive life without worry. I need to show him how I can manage my emotions with less frustration and more positive energy. Man oh man is life a work in progress, and parenting is the biggest learning process of all. I'm doing the best I can, and it is hard, but at the same time it is absolutely wonderful and I am happier today with my life, my marriage, and my family than I ever have been before because of Lucas and Nathan entering my life. I am truely blessed.

If anyone is actually still reading this, I'm amazed you made it though! Welcome to my thoughts for the day... now you know what it's like to be a pregnant Mama for a few hours.

Monday, May 25, 2009

My "Nathan" Belly at 21 Weeks

It's been awhile since we posted a belly photo, so here are some taken this weekend. Lucas was actually pointing at my belly button - one of his new fascinations - but it looks like he's pointing to his little brother!

Every Boy Needs a Black Eye

Just wanted to document this one for Lucas to look back on some day.... his first black eye. This photo was taken a week after he collided head on with a little girl, so you can imagine how bad it was right afterwards - she was fine, but he was left with battle scars! Poor guy!

Friday, May 22, 2009

The important things...

Sometimes I feel like life gets in the way of our enjoyment for each moment and even each wonderful thing and people in our lives.

For some reason lately I have been so focused on the unimportant things in life - cleaning, cooking, errands, etc. I was panicking about all the things that I want to have done before Nathan comes, realizing I only have about four months left before he arrives. Somehow I think I was pretending I wasn't pregnant, wrapped up in being a mommy and taking care of the house. Lucas hasn't been sleeping and we've been throwing all our energy into working with him on that, so I've been up late and up early, doing cleaning and projects to all hours of the night. When I was tired I just pushed myself more to get more done. Not too smart.... considering that yeah, I am actually pregnant.

This week we had a bit of a scare that ended up with an ultrasound and the possibility of something called "funneling of the cervix". I won't go into more detail on that here, but until next week's doctor appointment I am on orders to not pick up a broom or mop, and to take it as easy as possible. So I have been sitting.... resting..... watching TV or reading during Lucas' naps. And let me tell you it is HARD! and boring! I can't stand sitting around, but I am doing it because I need to remember that I'm pregnant and need to take care of this little boy. I don't want anything to happen to him.

So, my new philosophy.... I don't care if things are messy. I don't care if I don't get all my projects done. I just want to enjoy the rest of this pregnancy, have a really fun summer with Lucas, spend time with my friends and family, and take time to take lots of pictures, write, and enjoy life. We'll see how long I can do this! :-)

I am so excited for this long weekend ahead. We are (hopefully) finally going to get our master bathroom sink/counter installed after living without one for a year, and hopefully get some fun time with friends and family as well. And yes, I will be doing a lot of resting...

Happy long weekend everyone!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mother's Day Painted Picture Cards

For Mother's Day this year we decided to hand make some cards for everyone. The paper was designed and created by Lucas. Here are some photos of his first attempt at finger painting.

We started at the kitchen table, but ended up with paint on the chair, the wall, and all over him...

So we moved it outside where we had a little more space and room for messiness.

Ruffy and Gizmo were very curious as to what we were doing as well.

Lucas loved squishing the paint between his fingers and toes.

I had to hold on to him to direct his hands to the paper, otherwise we would have had a rainbow colored back yard.

We smeared color after color, made hand and foot prints, and had so much fun!

When it was time to clean up, Lucas wanted to head in the house....

We attempted a quick cleanup, but that didn't work.

This kid really needed a bath!

Sorry, no pictures in the tub, but I'm sure you can imagine what color the water ended up when he was all cleaned off!

Here are some photos of our masterpieces!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Even Better Than Disneyland!

We decided to head down to the pier today and let Lucas play in the fountain outside of the Crown Plaza Hotel. But when we got there, the fountain wasn't running, so we resorted to plan B: play in the sand. Well, it turned out to be an adventure for Lucas, who as we discovered, is absolutely in love with the beach. I should have known - it encompasses all of his favorite things: water, rocks, sand, and open running space.
Here are some of our best photos from the beach today.
Walking along the promenade with Mama and Ruffy
What is this place Mom? There is sand everywhere!
Hmmnn, this looks interesting! I'm ready to explore!
Look at all that water...
I can't believe what I've been missing! Dada, can we stay here forever?
After a few tumbles, Mama and Daddy are getting wet too.
More water, more water!
Throwing rocks into the waves...
Can't... get... there... fast... enough!
Uh, oh... but he got right back up with a smile!
This is better than Disneyland, Dad!
The happiest kid on earth
headed towards the waves again
running, full speed ahead!
lovin' all the rocks!
playing airplane with Daddy
Feel the water between my toes!
Do we have to go home? I want to stay.... forever!
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