Friday, April 26, 2013

Unfair and Very Generous.

Sometimes, you write blog posts.  Then sometimes, they write themselves in your heart and mind and won't stop until you actually put them in black and white and you don't feel right until you share them.  Today is one of those posts.   I'm not exactly secretive about the fact that procreation isn't my strong suit.  I am able to get pregnant and carry, but not without medical intervention, and I'm pretty open about this.  Maybe that is s because misery loves company, and maybe it's because I feel like sharing my story could help someone else, and maybe it's because just getting these things off my chest feels good.  Whatever the reason is,  this week is infertility awareness week, and I find myself acutely aware of a few things.

The first is that sometimes we don't know how much we want something until we are told it's going  to be hard to get it.

The second is that there is a lot of irony in the fact that medications that aid fertility can make you feel so emotionally off kilter, you wonder if you should be allowed to have children in the first place.

Third, and probably most important, is that life isn't fair.  It's just not, but if I'm going to cry because life isn't fair, I have to acknowledge that life is both unfair and generous to all of us.   When I compare my situation to what I know of other people's lives, it is hard to remember that I'm only comparing the dirty details of my own shortcomings to what others allow to be seen on the outside.  When I look at my life as I should, standing on it's own, I see that life is, and has been, beautiful and more than generous.

So there that is.  I do feel better now that I have let this post take a life of its own.   For more of what I've written about this- see here.

Happy weekend, everyone.   I hope that in it  we can take the time to see how generous life is.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Days that are More Sweet than Stinky

Colin is  not a child that is really only affectionate or sweet (unless he's sick), but blends his affection and sweetness with mischief and teasing.   I wouldn't have it any other way.   Today, he crept his fingers along the table toward my bowl of cereal, giggling as he got closer and tried to grab the spoon.  When that didn't work, he ran to the bin of dinosaurs and brought me back a pteranodon.  "Please let's trade, Mommy,"  he began with a smile, than sang "You can have my dinosaur!"  We shared the rest of my cereal, and I returned the dinosaur to him when we were done.    

Yesterday between the two of us was not ideal. My Facebook status at lunchtime read  "Pardon the phrasing.... Colin decided to strip naked in his play tent and literally have a pissing match with his animal toys. He won. He's napping." With the changes at Aidan's school, he has struggled to see where his place is, and then re-find it as the school situation resolved.  He simultaneously misses his brother, and enjoys the attention that comes from being the only child at home.  It's a lot of feelings to manage in a little body.  

So today when he finds me doing laundry, in the kitchen, and grabs my hand, demanding a hug, a kiss, a pick up, or a twirl around, I'm gladly obliging.  Days where the sweet outweighs the stinky don't come around often.  That's the nature of being two, I guess, Then when he runs over and shouts at the top of his voice "GIMME SOME SUGAR," then kisses my face and hugs me to near strangulation,  I'll just assume he means "Sorry that I'm a punk, but I know you'll love me even if I am."  

Friday, April 19, 2013

2nd Annual Kid-Free Getaway


Last year's trip to Port Townsend was our first overnight away since having kids.  The place we stayed was not great, and we only stayed for one night, but we got a chance to reconnect with each  other and relax away from the boys.  We both felt like we came back better than we left, and that one night was just not quite enough. For this year's trip, we stayed in Long Beach at Adrift Hotel (I recommend a stay there, especially if you can get the Groupon.  They come up often).  The pictures tell most of the story, but we did a lot 

We biked the discovery trail through Cape Disappointment State Park.  
We visited Astoria and saw the Goonies House and the school from Kindergarten Cop.  
We laid around and read a lot. 
We talked about the kids, but not too much. 
We took a lot of pictures on cold beaches and ate food that wasn't good for us.  
We laughed at stupid girls who wore booty shorts on northwest beaches in April. 
We woke up without the instant demand of "Milk! Food!  Diego!"  
We remembered what it is like to be just the two of us. 
We held conversations without interruptions.  
We played music that we don't listen to with the kids around.  
We watched a sunset together, we stopped because we saw interesting animals. 
We found out that after two days, we miss our boys and feel ready to come home. 
We discovered that two hours after being home, we'd be ready to leave again. 

We're still ready to go back, in a lot of ways, but in the week since, Aidan has started at his new school, and Chris is back to work.  A new routine in has started, and it feels good, refreshed.  We appreciate each other and the boys more when we come back.  We're already counting down until the next time.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Just Another Manic Sunday

My Facebook status read "Reason my son is crying:  We won't let him wear a mohawk to church"  It wasn't just that he was crying.  He was so distraught, you'd assume his dog had just died.  Strike that, he hates our dog most of the time.  Nevertheless, the emotions ran high before we even left the house for church.

When he had finally calmed down, the sitting in church wasn't too bad.  We ask that the boys sit quietly until after the sacrament is done, and then they are free to color, read, or draw quietly while we try to listen.  It usually doesn't work out this way, but we weren't doing too badly until I heard Colin's voice, chipper and unusually quiet: "Ballllllllls open!  Ballllllls closed!"  was on repeat as he pried Chris' knees apart.  When we realized what he was saying, Chris sat up and I scooped Colin over to me.

"Colin," I said, hoping I couldn't be heard, that the two empty rows between us and the next family would be enough to keep our privates conversation private, "we don't talk about balls at church."

"No, Mommy, I was talking about Daddy's balls," he explained at full volume (he only has two: loud and the extremely rare library volume).

I brought my voice to a whisper "We don't talk about anyone's balls"

"I just did, Mommy!" He put his hands out, looking at me.

"You did."  He had me there.  "Just please don't anymore, please.  Hey, look! Wonder Pets."  I tried to engage him in his coloring book.

"How 'bout Aidan's balls?"  He was back at full volume by now.

"NO.  ONE'S.  BALLS."  I whisper intently at him. "Look, here's Tuck.  Color Tuck."

We were fine until a few moments later, when he asked to use the bathroom.  We rushed there, but had a wardrobe malfunction, leaving us with totally soaked pants.  I stripped him, and stood him on the counter.  We had a sweater, a polo, and no pants.  Remembering a mid-90's TV movie about a family trapped in the woods,  I started to put the sweater on as pants.

Colin burst into giggles.  Then, I sat him down on the floor, and the waist of his sweater dropped down to the ground over his legs.  More giggles.  I picked him up again, and we rushed to the church library, where I rifled through the lost and found to find something (anything) that would work as a belt.  I came across a Boy Scout neckerchief and smiled at the volunteer librarian.  "Be prepared"  I smiled as I rolled and tied it around his waist.

Colin and I walked back to the chapel and I stepped behind a divider.  Making eye contact with Chris, I mouthed "We have a situation."   The people seated near us suppressed giggles as Chris took the pants on a trip home and with replacements. Colin strutted around, proud of his new style.

 After sacrament meeting was over, I took him to a classroom and took the picture above).  He stood there, pleased as could be,  jaw thrust forward in triumph, as though he was thinking to himself  "and they thought a mohawk would be bad."    So next week, if my child sports a mohawk to church- just be glad he's wearing pants.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

test for bloglovin'

this is only a test.  pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

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School Change for Aidan

Aidan got to take two spring breaks this year- the one on the school calendar, and and extra week while we worked on changing schools.  While we'd planned to bring him to our neighborhood school at the beginning of the next school year, circumstances expedited the change.  

It was a really hard couple of weeks.  I don't want to share all the details of what and why.  We don't really know all of the details around the incident that led to us taking him out of his school.  Obviously, this is a big part of the problem- but what we do know is that we doubted a kid that rarely gives us a reason to, and he was devastated when we chose not to believe him and laid down consequences.  Once we realized that things weren't what they had seemed that, we started working on making things right, starting with a change in teachers- meaning a change of school.  Making that decision was the worst of it-after that, it was paperwork and phone calls and more paperwork and more phone calls.  On our way out to Long Beach, we got the call that there was an unexpected opening in our neighborhood school, vacated last Friday by a boy named Ayden.   It melted the stress away, allowing us to relax and enjoy our trip. 

He started at his new school on Monday, and it seems like our Aidan is mostly handling the transition well.  Different rules and standards of behavior take time to adjust to, and he's not entirely sure how he feels about them. Making new friends can be an intimidating thing to face, especially for a kid who is a homebody.  Through the messy parts and even now, he's been a bit more emotional, a bit more touchy, and we're re-learning that a kindergartner, even one with the vocabulary of an old man and a basic knowledge of evolution, is still a very little boy who is very tender.  

Friday, April 12, 2013

Thoughts After a Getaway

Chris and I took a few days this week to escape to Long Beach, just the two of us.  Last year we took our first trip away, just the two of us, and realized how much we needed it. We come back better parents, more patient, and more connected to each other.  The weeks leading up to the trip brought us a number of different stresses, which managed to resolve before we got to the beach, or seemed to disappear, at least temporarily.

The time away gave me some time to think, and I want to put my conclusions down before I really lose them.  So, if you'll bear with me, I'll share them.

1- Hunger needs to have a place in my life.  Related, when I have enough peace around me to pay attention to how the things I am eating make me feel, I realize that I feel like crap.  I need to be more conscious of what I put in my stomach, and when I do it.

2- I married the best person for me.  I know this, but sometimes it's a fact that gets covered up by the mess that is life.  I love that he's my best friend, an awesome partner, and that even after being together more than ten years, he'll still stop to suck face with me in the middle of a forest path.  Too much?  Not sorry.

3- I need more:  time on the floor playing, cuddles, reading,  making, walking, being outside, taking pictures, writing our stories, and  quiet time with my thoughts.

4-  I need less: Internet, negative self-talk, comparison, non-food edibles, apologizing, focusing on the negative, procrastinating what I know is good for me.

5- Fixing hair and putting on makeup takes less time than I thought and should be done more often.

6- I miss writing, sharing, and creating.

And that's the result of two days away, and a few days of waking up without the instant demand for a sippy cup in my face. Clearing my head for a while  Pictures and details of the trip to come.