Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year

We have spent the last 2 weeks in Arizona. As usual, the weather is great. Jack has had a lovely time with his grandparents. I got to go to the gym.. big excitement. AND, Ryan and I went out twice -once to sushi (a minor miracle as the sushi restaurant is actually in the small town where I grew up) with my bro and sis then AGAIN to a cool, modern restaurant in central phoenix (another miracle) It seems arizona may be slowly progressing into the 21st century. Although the citizens of arizona recently made it legal to carry a gun into a bar .. so maybe they are just enjoying the contrast between the 19th and 21st centuries.

We missed my dad a lot. So sad not to have him around. When Jack asks about him I say grandpa charlie is on an airplane. I don't know how to explain death to a three year old. Jack understands airplanes and I think we'd all like to believe my dad is spending eternity in an F16.

We spent lots of time at home so here are some action shots of our time together. Sonia is not pictured as she was generally sleeping (in 45 minute increments)

Picking oranges in grandma's backyard:


Playing near the pool (too cold to get in)



Jack really enjoyed watering the plants..


and the empty fountain..


Playing with lipstick


When Ryan arrived, Jack got to venture out more. Here they are at the pool



A few Christmas days shots

The Slanket or snuggie.. what have I done all my life without it? They even make them kid-sized!


Jack and grandma


Aunt Katie and Sonia

Once upon a time

Lately, we have been telling stories in addition to reading books at bedtime. My dad always told us stories so I was inspired. As a teenager, I realized my dad's stories had very little plot and no ending.. I learned this when I tried to tell one of his stories about Chuck the Kodiac bear to a little boy I was babysitting. When I later asked my dad how the story ended he said that it didn't. I usually just fell asleep so he never had to end the story. So I knew my stories did not need to be complex for Jack to enjoy them.

The story always starts the same way: 'once upon a time there was a little boy named Jack and Jack loved...' Then I ask Jack 'what did Jack love?' and so far he has given me the following answers:

airplanes, balloons, air balloons, space needles, grandpa bert, grandpa bert's computer, grandma, jack's computer in seattle, Dora, and Gen and Lily.

Then I make up a story and tell it in the past tense about some adventure Jack had with the person/thing he loves. The most common story is about going on an air balloon ride.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

We spent thanksgiving as we do every year -- with our dear friends Paul and Laurie. The food is always amazing but the change this year was the addition of 2 children -- sonia and daniel. I thought the day would be really chaotic but it was mellow .. considering how many kids were there. We were joined by the mother of one of laurie's students and his girlfriend. The student has been in the hospital for quite a while and his mom has been in seattle to be with him. She is understandably extremely worried about her son. It reminded me that the only thing that really matters is having your health and I am so grateful for the health of all of my loved ones. This holiday season (and maybe every one from this point forward) has been sad without my dad. We miss him. He should be here.

Today (the day after t day) is beautiful -- the sun is shining and at this moment, I have two sleeping children (a minor miracle). We went to the seattle center this morning to listen to a children's symphony group play music and to see a very cool miniature village (decorated for the holiday) with an awesome set of trains running through the town.



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Big Three

Jack is three today. It's surreal. How can he be so old? After being away from him for 5 days, I notice he seems like a little boy -- his vocabulary is rapidly expanding, he plays by himself for longer and longer periods of time. He enjoys drawing and playing with any one of the various transportation toys we have. He has an amazing memory. He smiles a lot... especially when he is watching or reading Dora the Explorer. He really digs the Dora stories..



Happy Birthday Jack!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Red Sonia and Curly Jack

Sonia has red hair. I have no idea where she got that. One of my sister's friends met Sonia and immediately starting calling her Red Sonia .. if the name sounds familiar it's because Red Sonja was a Conan the barbarian movie .. and you are old enough to remember that.

Jack seems to be getting used to Sonia. I was in arizona for a few days over the weekend and when I talked to him on the phone he asked me where Sonia was (she came with me, Jack stayed home). He throws fewer tantrums (unless he is hungry, then watch out) and he also likes to give Sonia kisses on her head. Every time he kisses her he says "ohhh!" Which is what other people say after they see Jack kiss her. It's very cute. Jack has also adjusted well to his preschool. He goes three half days a week to a little place nearby that has 7 other kids. Since there is another Jack at the school, they call Jack 'curly jack.' Now when asked his name, he'll say 'curly jack.' If he's ever a pirate, he'll have a good name.

It seems both of my children are notable for their hair.

I am at home with them all the time now -- no work for the next year or so. I am surprised to find that I like being with them all the time. It is a tremendous amount of work but it's nice that they are my only job.



Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lax

Before Sonia, we had a few rules.. like we eat food only at the table, no binkies until it's time to sleep, no videos.. all those rules are gone now. We eat on "mom and dad's bed" because mom is always feeding sonia there. Because sonia is always eating, we are now watching videos (while eating on mom and dad's bed). So far, I like Dora the Explorer the best. WHo knew CHarlie Brown was such a downer? The characters are so mean.

We are slowly adjusting. Jack likes Sonia. He is very cute and gentle with her.. not so much with us. He screams a lot more now but I can't blame him. I know in time he will mellow out. It's definitely frustrating for me not to be able to pay as much attention to Jack and equally frustrating for him.

For the most part though, things are going really well. I don't find any of the baby stuff as difficult as I did the first time. I enjoy just taking care of my kidlets. I know the survival mode that we are currently in won't last long.




Thursday, September 24, 2009

Welcome Sonia!

My posts are going to become fewer and further between! Right now, my mom and Ryan are here helping me and I am not sure how I will do the job of three people in a few weeks. Luckily I have some help until Sonia is 6 weeks old so I have some time to figure it out.

Sonia Katherine was born on 9-13-09 at 115am. She was 20 inches long and weighed 8lbs 4oz. She seems to be doing well.. lots of eating, sleeping, pooping, and crying. We are happy she is here.

Big Brother

Jack is now a big brother. Since this is my second child, there are many things I am already used to --sleep deprivation, hanging out at home, diaper changing. The new thing is Jack. He has changed a little. He doesn't seem as happy as he used to be. He throws tantrums a lot. I miss him. I don't get to spend the same kind of time with him that I did and that makes me sad. So with the happiness of welcoming Sonia into our lives, we are also a little sad at having to say goodbye to Jack's only child status. I am almost always confident that a second child was a great decision for all of us. Yet, transitions are hard and this is probably Jack's first real challenge. We are hoping to help him through as best we can.

He seems to like Sonia. He is very kind and gentle around her.. He has also taken a new interest in drinking milk from a bottle (although I am breastfeeding -- much easier this time)

The labor

Almost two weeks ago (seems like years) on Saturday Sept 13 my water broke at 8am. And just like my labor with Jack, my water broke, then nothing happened. I went to the hospital - - the midwives confirmed my water had broken and told me to return at 8pm. They thought my labor would start but I was convinced it wouldn't. They kept saying this time is going to be different than the last.

Well, at 830 or so, I returned. Still, nothing was happening. They put my on the monitor and said I was having contractions. I felt some light contractions but told them I'd see them in the morning since the only time I had any contractions was when I was on their monitors. I went to the house of some friends (Jack was staying with my mom for the weekend). By about 930 I realized I was having regular contractions and I went home to labor there (although I still wasn't convinced I was in labor) By 1030, I knew I was definitely in labor and things had gotten difficult enough that I didn't want to be in the car. Ryan drove me to the hospital. We arrived around 1045. My labor went pretty quickly from there and Sonia was born at 115am. Really, it was a piece of cake as far as labors are concerned.

We were so happy to meet sonia and so happy things had gone so smoothly. Ryan was snoozing and I was feeding Sonia and talking to Jenny, our friend and doula. I noticed I was bleeding but I thought that was normal. HOwever, when the nurse checked me she said I was bleeding quite a bit. Then it became clear my bleeding wasn't slowing down as it was supposed to. Many people started coming into the room -- for hours -- it took until 6 or so to get things under control. It's not a great memory.. the worst part was that they kept pressing down on my uterus and I would hear a splash as large amounts of blood came out. After a few hours, it became very disconcerting but by then I was getting pain medicine because of all the intervention and that mellowed me out. For several hours, I had a 10lb shotput sitting on my abdomen.. Whatever they did helped, because here I am. My recovery has been much more difficult but in the end, I am so glad it's me and not sonia who has the big recovery.


Monday, September 07, 2009

Still pregnant

I have 7 days left until my "due" date. It's odd that I could have the baby either tomorrow or in 3 weeks. Hopefully, soon.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Reflections

This weekend while I was eating a doughnut, I reached over to dip the doughnut in a bowl of whipped cream. Then I thought that I really need to give birth. It’s time. Mom and baby are large enough. I am at the stage when everyone comments on my size. Imagine if everyone who saw you made a comment about how big you are. It’s tiresome at best. When I was pregnant with Jack, I felt like it would be ok to be pregnant forever. It didn’t bother me much and I wasn’t really ready to have a child. Now I am ready. But I technically have 4 weeks to wait … and grow… larger.

Friday, August 07, 2009

I'm on a boat!

We've been on the ferry a lot this summer. Usually, Jack races around the ferry -- playing with the vending machines and video games.. chatting with other passengers about the space needle. Our last ferry ride he was more pensive.. just gazing out the window at the other big boats passing by.



Monday, July 20, 2009

Summer!

Corn-on-the-cob + overalls + sun = summer


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Camping!

We went on our first camping trip with Jack this weekend. We went to a beautiful camp site near Mt. Rainier called Walupt Lake. The camp was at about 4000 feet situation between Rainier, Adams, and Mt. St. Helens. We were just a five minute walk from the lake. The campsite was really mellow.. We went with good friends from my college days. Jack loved it.. he just loves being outside. We borrowed a 7 person tent from friends (called the tent-mahal) which was the perfect size for us. The only difficult part was the mosquitos which apparently only come out in this area for 10 days during the summer.. we happened to arrive on day 2 of their stay. Jack didn't mind at all. Even though he was covered in DEET, he still got lots of bites but they don't seem to bother him. Ryan and I had a harder time with it. We all vowed to return again next year -- just later in the summer.

Me and my two college pals have known each other 18 years. Can't quite believe that...


My friend's 6 year old son in their very cool rowboat:


One of Jack's favorite activities was playing with the camping gear:

Dog is Thirsty

I bought a bunch of used children's books recently. One of the books, titled 'Dog is Thirsty', is sort of odd. It's about a dog who complains about being thirsty until finally, it rains. I think it was originally written in Japanese so maybe something was lost in translation -- Jack and I both find it fairly uninteresting. Lately, however, it seems to me that my inner monologue (and often, outer) sounds like this book. If I had to put a title on it, I would call it Mom is Tired. There would be no plot... just me walking around or laying down talking about how tired I am. My book would also be pretty dull. Here I am cruising into month 7:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Traveling

We have been going out of town a lot lately. I think I am just trying to avoid our overgrown yard. In any case, over memorial day I took a trip to Coronado Island with my high school pals. Everyone left their kids at home so we mainly just sat around - We sat at the beach, we sat at our friend Sally's parents beautiful home, then we sat at a restaurant and then sat at an outdoor bar.. lots of hanging out - It was great.

Here we are watching the kite surfing:






Then a couple weeks later, Jack, Ryan and I headed back up to guemes island. We went on our favorite hike twice:

video




My mom and stepfather returned to town so we visited them this past weekend. Jack loved all the attention -- I loved all the sleeping.

I am bigger now and slower -- people at work continue to make that comment 'you're getting bigger' -- someone pointed out it was really the baby getting bigger but at this point, it's the same thing. I am trying to enjoy the pregnancy as it's the last one I plan to experience but the allure is gone.. if it was ever there. I don't mind it exactly but it's draining. As one of my biology teachers said 'for the female mammal, reproduction is expensive'



Unrelated to all the traveling, Jack seems to really dig the musical instruments. He strums his guitar and walks around the house singing like an old folk singer.



We find it endlessly entertaining.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Big Doughnut

Because of the lovely weather we've been so lucky to have on the weekends this month, we've been spending lots of time at a beautiful park by our house that has two of Jack's favorite things -- a view of the space needle and a big doughnut (or a sculpture of a big doughnut). He named the sculpture himself but I've always thought of it as a big doughnut too. For some reason though, he will absolutely not sit in the doughnut.. he likes it better from a distance.. so mostly we walk around the park. Jack really wants to jump in the pond there because it's full of colorful fish.





THere are also lots of great trees to climb:



Unrelated to all this, jack got a hair cut. This is the pre-haircut photo.. we were a little shocked at first but got used to it quickly.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

la hermanita

I am half way through my pregnancy (theoretically) so I went to my last ultrasound (i hope) where they measure all the organs and look at the brain. Basically, out of the almost infinite number of abnormalities, it seems the ultraound rules out about 8. I felt mixed about getting it.. but in the end, I decided it's better to have more information than less (in this case).

We found out the gender: we are having a girl.

I was a little shocked. For some reason, I saw myself as a mom of boys. Last December during the time when I could not know whether I was pregnant or not, I recall walking down the street and all of a sudden feeling like I needed to start thinking about girl names because I was going to have a girl. It was a strong feeling. But a few months later, I went to a vedic astrologer (long story) who was fairly certain it was a boy so I questioned my intuition and decided I just had no idea. In any case, I felt very surprised when the tech told me.

So little J will have a little sister. Crazy.

Tenacious J

Jack is asserting his will more often and he has very particular requests. He wants to have 3 binkies when he sleeps, if there are 5 things on the table, he only wants the one that will cause the most damage, when I unload the groceries he can always tell which box has the cookies even though he hasn't seen the picture.. and he just wants THAT box. He points at things and says THIS! so I've realized I need to get better at naming.. it's hard to explain the concept of demonstrative pronouns. If he doesn't get EXACTLY what he wants, he stomps one foot and says I WANT IT!

He also like to do the opposite of what I want to do. If I want to go uphill, he wants to go down, if I want to go away from the street, he wants to go towards it. One thing that is consistent is he always wants to be outside... at all times. I sometimes wonder if he doesn't like our house but then I think that's projection.

I don't really like the phrase terrible two's. I am glad that Jack is on track developmentally.. I'm glad he's becoming his own little person. I heard someone call this period "the tenacious two's" and I think that's a little more fair. He's so much more engaging than he used to be and that is a lot of fun for us.

Spring makes everything more fun anyway...
Here is Jack and his favorite cat, pumpkin. Every time he sees pumpkin he says "pumpkin kitty gentle?'



we got lots of great tulips this year:

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Are you calling me fat?

Last week, I ate lunch at the Nordstrom cafe. I work downtown now and I have an hour for lunch (something I have not had for 4 years). I have gone out for lunch every day because it's so great to be downtown and there is lots of great food. El Puerco Llorron has the best mexican food I have had in Seattle.. It's at the market which is only a 10 minute walk from the clinic.

Anyway, back at the Nordstrom cafe, I ordered a salad and a coke because coke is to the second pregnancy as cream cheese was to the first. When my coke was gone, the waiter returned to ask me if I wanted more DIET coke. I thought 'DO YOU THINK I SHOULD BE DRINKING DIET COKE INSTEAD OF REGULAR?????????? Are you trying to make a point?" PRobably, maybe, he wasn't. A co-worker suggested that most women who frequent that restaurant order diet coke. maybe. That is the problem with this point in the pregnancy. You could be pregnant or you could just be someone who likes a good cheeseburger. No one knows for sure.


Weekend getaways..

We've been out of town a lot lately. It's been really nice to go relaxing places on the weekend.. places where we have no errands.. where we can just hang out. We went to my mom's on the Olympic peninsula (probably a month ago now.. I dropped my camera on a hike only to find it rained on the next day. Luckily, the memory card was fine.)

We played some hoop in the backyard:



Then a few weeks later, we visited our friends' cabin on Guemes Island. We had great weather and this is when we took the camera-dropping hike. As you can see the view from the top, Mt Guemes is stunning. You can see many of the san juan islands. It's such a lovely place because it's actually really close to everything but feels very remote.







It was at the top of the mountain that we figured out the names for Jack 2. I will be the only one finding out the gender. Ryan doesn't want to know so I can't tell anyone. That could be tough.