2 moms. 3 kids. 1 amazing adventure.

Archive for December, 2010

Christmas: The 1st Dress Rehearsal, The 2nd Dress Rehearsal, and Opening Day

Living so far from any of our families, we have developed a 3-year travel rotation for the holidays.  Year one:  Ohio with Dawn’s parents on Christmas, travel from Ohio to St. Louis for my family, and home by New Year’s Eve.  Year two:  St. Louis on Christmas, Ohio immediately after, home by New Year’s Eve.  Year three: stay home.  Can I just say, I love those year 3s?  And this year…it was a year 3!  Dawn’s parents cannot make the 12 hour trip anymore, so they sent presents with us when we were there for Thanksgiving.  My family was unable to coordinate one weekend to visit, so we ended up with three celebrations this year. 

My dad and his partner, S, came to visit the weekend of the 11th.  We went tromping around in the cold and snow to find the perfect tree.  We chopped down, drug home, and decorated said tree.  We ate, laughed, visited, and opened gifts.  Olivia got the DSi she had begged for.  Owen received a very large, red, remote-controlled dinosaur–I am not sure if he or my dad enjoyed it more.  We even got an extra day to visit because  an ice storm stretching the entire length of Illinois prevented their return home as scheduled.

The following weekend, my mom made the same trip up.  Her husband, J, came down with the flu and was unable to make the trip.  We were all disappointed, but the kids were especially sad that Grandpa wouldn’t be there to play “monster” with them.   Again, we ate, laughed, and chatted.  The gift opening was a blur of flying paper that ended with all sorts and varieties of new clothes and playthings.  I have tried to get my mom on board with the less is more concept, but it just doesn’t seem to fly.  Oh, well.

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We enjoyed a lovely, laid back Christmas morning.  We peeked in stockings, popped cinnamon rolls in the oven, and opened gifts while they baked.  It was so nice to spend the rest of the day in our own house, just the five of us.  No agenda, no schedule.  Olivia’s main gift was a pair of tickets to see the Nutcracker ballet, so we spent a fair amount of time researching the ballet itself as well as our seating location and nearby restaurants.  Owen spent hours arranging and rearranging the furniture in his new doll house.  Amelia stacked blocks and danced to Christmas music (oh, so adorable!).  Dawn and I relaxed and revelled at how awesome our little family is.  A wonderful Christmas, indeed.

Prayers and Positive Thoughts Needed…

My friend C’s family could really use all the prayers and positive energy you can muster to send their way.  On Monday night, her 22-year-old son Douglas was driving home from a call (he’s a volunteer firefighter) when he was suddenly struck with a massive headache.  He called his aunt, who lives a few houses away.  In the few minutes it took her to get to him, he had collapsed on the bathroom floor.  Paramedics rushed him  25 minutes to the nearest hospital.  He had emergency brain surgery, during which they removed a large blood clot at the back of his head.  The doctors feel that the clot caused a massive stroke.  Unfortunately, he is experiencing complications.  He has not yet woken from the surgery and his brain is swelling to critical levels.  Despite many drastic measures, the doctors are not able to get the swelling under control.  Brain scans today determined that he is in a coma state and the outcome is not promising. 

I cannot fathom how her family must be feeling.  C is a huge believer, as am I, in the power of prayer and positive energy.  If you have any to spare, please send them Douglas’ way.  Thanks.

ETA:  The family made the decision to remove life support this morning.  Douglas continued to show no brain activity and had deteriorated further.  His family has chosen to create  holiday miracles for other families via organ donation.  I struggle with the thought that she has sent her two oldest sons to Iraq and Afghanistan for tours of duty, finally has everyone home safe, and then this…she was just saying the other day that she was so excited to be able to have all of her sons home for Christmas together this year.

Funk

Warning:  Shameful whining ahead!  There is a legitimate question at the end, though.  🙂

It’s official.  I am in a funk.  And I cannot seem to shake it.  Normally, I am a glass-half-full kind of person, but not lately.  Work stinks.  The boss (my principal) is still pulling antics with me about nursing.  I am still getting  no support from him in regards to a couple of my students who are unsafe and violent.  He sent the child who punched me in the stomach back to my room within 20 minutes…with no consequence.  The bureaucracy of a large, academically failing district is frustrating.   At home, my own kids are struggling with behavior.  There are a myriad of factors at work with that, some controllable and some outside of my control.   At least in this situation, we are working on a plan to change things.  My mission is to turn this funk around before Family Visit: Part 1 begins this Saturday.  I dyed my hair in an attempt to create change.  I plan to stick ear buds in, turn up the volume on my iPod, and scrub the floors tonight.  If nothing else, my house will look nice for visitors.

In other funk news, Amelia’s cloth diapers have developed an icky smell.  We are using pocket diapers–a combination of Bum Genius and Fuzzi Bunz.  I don’t love the pockets like I thought I would, but they have been perfectly utilitarian until now.   The diapers smell fine out of the washer…like nothing at all.  As soon as she pees in them…BAM!  BLECH!  I have tried everything I can think of to no avail.  They’ve been stripped.  A few times.  We’ve adjusted detergent (Crunchy Clean Hard Water or Rockin’ Green Hard Water) and amounts.  Oh, how I pine for the ease of the prefolds she wore as a wee one.  But there is no way we could get her to stay still long enough to fuss with them now.  So–here’s that question I promised :)–any cloth diaper advice out there you’re willing to share?  What’s your wash routine?  Do you have any recommendations for another type of diaper (natural fibers, maybe?) to try?  Recommendations for ventilation systems to install in the bathroom with the pail 😛 ?

A glimpse back at the newborn days

Anytime Amelia nurses lately, it usually involves antics of some sort or another.  She loves to perform all sorts of acrobatics that involve twisting, turning, attempting to throw her leg over my shoulder, or her new favorite–trying to stand on my thighs, with her back against my chest, bending over at the waist to latch on.   And unlatching to point and ask “wha dat?” or to play peek-a-boo is common, too.  Nursing in public is quite challenging!

This morning, though…oh, it was like having a newborn again.  She was extra sleepy and I had to wake her to nurse, change, and dress her before we left for the day.  As she nursed, she snuggled in next to me.  Heavenly.  She wrapped her little fingers around one of mine.  Divine.  She reached up and rubbed my cheek with the back of her hand.  Glorious.  And unlike our usual 5 minute drive-by nursing sessions, she hung out for fifteen minutes.  

Then, just like that, it was over.  She sat up and signed “all done”.  Next thing I knew, I was chasing her across the floor, her shirt in my hands, while she was on a mission to find the dog.  

Those fifteen minutes felt like a little trip back in time to her newborn-ness.  I was not expecting a nursing session like that, but perhaps it’s made me greedy, because I am more than a little bittersweet at the thought that I might not ever get that again.

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