Monday, April 29, 2013

You Have Got To Be Kidding Me

Last week was just miserable.

Sunday night I noticed my throat wasn't feeling right.

Monday morning the runny nose added to the soar throat and all I wanted to do was crawl into bed.

Tuesday James started fusssing.  Apparently his next wave of teething had begun.

Wednesday I was feeling human just as James' nose started to run.

Thursday James was a giant mass of snot and drool.

Friday I was on the mend, James was eating and playing and happy.  Still a mass of snot and drool though.

Saturday was a lazy day where I slept.  ALOT.  James did well, and it looked like we were in the clear.

Sunday my husband woke up with a sore throat and runny nose.

This is the cold that never ends.....

Friday, April 19, 2013

Almost 3 Years Later

In a matter of days it will be 3 years since my husband and I arrived in Virginia.

We made the cross country drive with the help of his father and grandfather in roughly 4 days.  It took us another 5 to unpack the moving van completely and start organizing our lives here.

A year later we moved and soon were parents.

In another 5 weeks from tomorrow or son will be 2.

Tonight we drive to a town about 45 minutes west to pick up the youngest of my sister's twin daughters.  Her husband is now serving in the Army, and he will be completing his next phase of training about 200 miles or so from us.  She'll be with us for at least 12 weeks, longer if he stays or is deployed and she wants to.

This has me thinking of the last 3 years, and what has and hasn't changed.

I would eat a country fried steak at Cracker Barrel before going to a steak house any night of the week.  Outback used to be the favorite in CA, but here it's Cracker Barrel, with Logan's running a close second.  I just love the more casual and home cooked feel of everything.

I would give my right arm for a Cheesecake Factory.  I miss those dessert runs, sitting in a booth with my brother and husband and talking.

Jack In The Box is something I still crave.  There are days where being able to roll through a drive-thru and bringing home cheesy potato wedges and egg rolls at midnight would really hit the spot.

I love being able to see the sunset here and know the colors are truly from nature and not just reflections in the pollution in the air.  Breathing is different here, and I felt it there last November.

There is no such thing as rush hour here.  The traffic may get a little heavier in areas, but it is nothing compared to what the highways were like back west.  When my husband says he doesn't like driving during rush hour I still laugh at him to this day. 

I miss my family daily.  There are things that remind of them everywhere, especially my sister and our love of movies.  It is amazing to be able to send her a text with a quote from a song or movie that is on and she knows it from the one line and can immediately right me back with the next line or more.

Life has moved on, people have grown and changed.  I knew that this was where I wanted to grow old, and I have no regrets.  With my niece here I will be getting a little taste of the things I miss to keep me company for a while.  I hope she is able to enjoy it and not feel so homesick.

We just need them to put in a Cheesecake Factory.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The One Where His Height Will Doom Me One Day

Tuesday afternoon.  James was asleep.  Husband was playing his new game.  I had work that had to be done in the last 2 hours of my business day.

So I did what I normally do in crunch moments: Informed my other half that I was putting in my ear buds, blasting some music, and hunkering down.  He needed to listen for James, and I would reappear at 5 to make dinner.

I then spent the next 20 minutes looking for my ear buds before borrowing my husband's so I could actually work.

Why did I have to hunt?

Because some one's height is annoying right now.

And he's learning to walk on tip toe and stretch out for things.

I have found my wireless mouse in so many rooms it isn't even funny.  Now he tries to take pens and Kindle and iPhone from every low perch in the place.

It's to the point where I have to put things on a high bookcase - we are talking a tall 5 shelf one - in order to keep them out of reach.  So far he has no interest in climbing, thank the Users.

This is now an extra step/precaution when I want to get a glass of water or even use the bathroom.  If I leave the office for a split second, his Spidey sense goes off and by the time I get back the lap top is closed and the mouse is with him, practically under the bed as he clicks the buttons.

Oh, and he's found the on/off switch on the bottom and loves it.

I'm glad he's growing, I really am.

But does he have to want my stuff?

I'm off to dig through his toy chest for my ear buds.  Luckily they were in their case, right?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Getting In Some Mileage

With the weather finally doing what that stupid groundhog said it was supposed to do weeks ago, I treated myself to some new clothes.

This means I spent $40 on 2 pairs of shorts and a t-shirt at Old Navy, and then dropped another chunk of change on sandals at Zappos that were not by Birkenstock or just some cheap flip flops.

Another sign of getting older: I actually am shopping rationally and carefully.

The t-shirt I bought in my actual size, which is 1 size down from last summer, and fits just like it is supposed.  Which to me is odd because I normally go for baggy.  Baggy is comfy, and when I sit I don't feel self-conscious about things.

I think I look good in the new clothes, but I have been feeling frumpy. 

Spring to me always makes me want to exercise.  Some people do massive amounts of cleaning, I want to walk or do something.  Winter here is so cold, and I am quite content to spend it inside, so now it's all about the birds singing.  The windows and patio door being open for fresh air.  James playing with a pile of rocks as the breeze blows through that mane of hair that needs a desperate haircut. 

The in-laws had two pieces of exercise equipment in their basement collecting dust.  One was an exercise bike, and the other a treadmill.  After years of yard sales, neither item made it outside to be sold as someone would say they would still use them.  Not to mention that they didn't skimp on the equipment, so it's good and durable.

And now that treadmill is next to me in my office/the guest bedroom.

It arrived last Thursday, and I maneuvered it into position while my husband and FIL were out running errands.  Friday I put on my shoes once James was down for a nap, placed the Kindle in position to read, and walked my first mile.

The weekend was spent running errands and gardening with the great-grandparents, so no treadmill.

But yesterday I added another mile.  And today my third.

3 miles down.  Many more to go.

I refuse to stress about losing weight.  That's never worked for me.  But if I can just get a little leaner, a little fitter, so that we can do a beach trip this summer and enjoy it.

That's the goal.

Considering I look forward to this mile everyday, I think it will work.

Here goes nothing...

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Perfect Spot

We purchased our first real couch and it arrived last Wednesday.

Let me explain about that.

When I moved out of my mom's, my first place had no real couch.  After being there a little while my sister had to move and had no place for her furniture.  I took the couch and used that there. 

From there I moved into my first real apartment and that couch came with me.  When my mom moved out of her place, I took the futon that had been in her apartment and junked the couch.  It really was dying thanks to some pets I had had, and so the futon worked.

After the apartment came the mobile home I rented with my husband and brother.  My brother needed a bed and had a couch, so the futon became his bed and we used his couch in the living room.

The move to Virginia has us leaving anything and everything behind.  My in-laws gifted us with a couch and loveseat that they had purchased used from a friend of theirs.

Now, the material was a micrfiber and trapped heat really well.  Great for me.  Not so great for the husband, and now the munchkin.  They both run warm, and there was no way to get them comfortable in it.

Fast forward 3 years and we decided it was time to actually pick something out we both liked that would give us support.


See that corner they are in?  My husband tested it specifically for comfort at the furniture store.  Also but sections are long enough that he can lay without his feet dangling.  He is 6'3", so that's pretty impressive.
The couch has been here for 2 days and James has already realized that that corner is daddy's.  They watched Super Why together there yesterday.  Today, daddy sat at the end and helped James climb up.  The munchkin proceeded to crawl to the corner and then started indicating at it and then grunting for daddy to move there.  As soon as he was situated there, James hopped into his lap to watch his show.
I think we found the perfect couch for us.

Friday, April 12, 2013

It's In His Genes

Isn't that the greatest Captain Morgan pose you've ever seen?
Not that he even knows what he is doing.  Just that mommy took out her iPhone and he was caught standing there with one leg up.
He won't know Captain Morgan for a couple of decades.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Maybe I Should Find New TV Shows To Watch...

People who know me also know that I don't do scary movies of any kind.

I think I've written before about watching the Alien movies: 1 a week, on Saturday morning, with the lights on and blinds open.  I didn't want to run the risk of something keeping me from being able to sleep.

So, my choice in television shows seems a bit odd knowing that.  I mean, they aren't exactly chest bursters every night, but I prefer things like Supernatural, Grimm, and The Following.

And I think they are starting to influence the way I see things.....

For example, our first night in the new place.

When James goes down to sleep, we close his bedroom door.  During naps, the door stays closed for the whole time.  At night, on our way to bed, we open his door so that he gets the benefit of the heater or AC as he is sleeping.

That first night, we went through the normal routine.  On my way to bed, I saw the bedroom door open and assumed that my husband had opened the door and gotten him snuggled with blankets. I climbed into bed, turned out the lights, and fell asleep.  The next morning, I mentioned the door to him, and he said he hadn't done it. 

My first reaction: we have a ghost.

Logical, no?

That second night, as we closed the door, I made sure to pull hard on it.  Turns out that if you don't do that then his bedroom door slips open slowly.

So, no ghost.  Lesson learned.

Or so you would think.

We normally leave all the doors open throughout the apartment except for 3: guest room closet, James' closet, and the linen closet outside the guest bathroom.

Over the last week, I've noticed that the guest bathroom door was closed at odd times of the day.  Neither of us had been down there, so I immediately went back to my go to reason for anything odd happening.

A ghost.

On Tuesday of this week, I went in to use the bathroom, and my favorite shadow followed me.  James has a habit of following me in, pushing me down to sit, waiting for me to finish, helping me flush the toilet, and then after making sure the water has gone down he will close the toilet.

I see it as early training.  He knows to flush and put the seat down.  Mommy is going to win this one!

After I washed my hands, I picked him up to turn off the light, set him down, and then walked out and told him to come with me.

I stopped and looked back in time to see him grab the door knob and pull the door closed.

He was on tip toes for part of it, but he did it.

So, no, we aren't haunted.  There doesn't appear to be a ghost here.

My son is just getting tall.  And learning to use door knobs.

To be honest, I'm not sure which I would prefer.

I need him to be my baby just a little bit longer....

And a ghost would have been so cool.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Toddler As A Second Language

Thanks to the will my son has inherited from both of our genes we are being forced to learn another language.

All before he grasps ours completely.

I know that he thinks he is speaking clearly.  But the ramblings he gives us are more along the lines of something that really requires subtitles.  Or a full time interpreter.
The real kicker?

Get it wrong and he has a meltdown.

Case in point: snacks.

Before we could put anything in a bowl and he'd be content.  Now, though, you have to go with him to the kitchen and present him with all his options.  Cookie Crisp, 2 different kinds of Cheerios, and a tub of Animal Crackers courtesy of Sam's Club are proffered.

9 out of 10 times that will be it.

But, you see, my son has memorized where the good snacks are hiding.

So a shake of the head, a point to another cupboard or cookie jar, all these most be taken note of in order to ascertain if what you are currently juggling will work or if you will have to move fast for something else.

My husband is slowly realizing this. 

I just diffused a bomb that was about to blow because James had been eating a bowl of Cookie Crisp just fine and then suddenly went into the kitchen and began to whine.

The cause?

Well, he didn't want a sweet snack anymore.  Daddy kept saying that he had something in his bowl, but that wasn't fixing it.

Took 2 minutes, but I pinpointed what the new snack needed to be and got that out in time to prevent any further complications.

James is now happily sitting with both snacks at his desk and watching the news.

Don't even get me started about dinner time here....

Monday, April 8, 2013

Perspective On The Life of Someone With A Child

My cousin is finishing her 2nd year in vet school, and so keeping in contact can be a little hard at times.  Her last email to me asked me the question that I've chosen for the title of this blog.

I've been staring at her email for over 2 weeks, and wasn't sure on the response.

See, I always wanted to be a mommy.

Last November, I spent a Saturday in CA with two of my oldest friends and their wives.  One of them watched me with James and said that when he heard that I was pregnant all he could think was that it sounded right.

I've always taken care of people.  I don't know why, but I have.  At one point some friends were calling my place "Grace's Home for Wayward Boys".  Whenever they needed it, they knew they had a couch to sleep on and warm food to eat.  From running from abusive families to needing a place to crash during a separation, I've housed them all.

James is such a part of my every day, and has been from the moment I knew I was pregnant, that to me it doesn't feel like life has changed so as morphed into its next phase.  It's just another part of my life, a part of me, that I just have taken in stride.

Yes, I have to make arrangements for things.  Some chores are only done when he is napping or out with the great-grandparents.  Movies are missed more often than seen in theaters.  My trips to Vegas are long gone.  Even a day out means counting diapers, grabbing wipes, and making sure I have snacks and bendy straws available.  Not to mention watching for loose tennis shoes as someone has learned how to slide them off without using his hands.  Sneaky little Hobbit.

Life is life.  Sometimes it goes too slowly.  Some nights I look around the living room after James is asleep and wonder if I ever had a life before him.  And, yes, some nights I wonder if I will ever get that other part of me back that never thought about remembering the last time a diaper was changed or someone pooped.

I'm lucky to work from home, and luckier even to have a husband who is there for us when we need it.  I write all this as someone comes to my desk with tiny fingers and starts opening and closing everything, knowing that any minute I'll tell him to stop.  Once again, testing his boundaries and my patience all at once.

Life with a child is a challenge.  It's not a 9-5 job, but something that really is a part of every second of the day.  Even when he's asleep I am listening for a cry or yell from a bad dream, and giggle when he talks in his sleep as apparently my side of the family does.  The parenting thing never really stops, not even when I'm asleep at night.

When I think of it like that it seems a little overwhelming.  But so satisfying.

There are no exams or lectures on how to do it all.  No one is grading my work or his, giving critiques on how things were handled or completed.  For me, as long as we get through another day, he continues to grow and learn, and the appropriate number of bowel movements have happened, it's a success.

Day by day.  Each lesson learned, one at a time.

It's just life.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Desperately Seeking....Something

It snowed again yesterday.

Make a note.  April 4th and we got snow that was note expected at all.  There wasn't even time for the county to salt the major roads.

The sun is out today, and we are supposed to see warmer temps over the weekend.  That will be a happy change, and one I am looking forward to.

When I was a teenager, this time of the year always meant school was about to wind down and my summer job was starting up.

I ever tell you I worked at an amusement park?  It was so much fun running the rides and hanging out with friends.  These were the friendships built on something other than classwork.  These are the ones that somehow seemed to mean more.

Yesterday one of them posted a picture on FB and I immediately thought of someone I hadn't thought of in years.  By some weird coincedence she saw the same pic and thought of me, and not too long after added me.  It was some sort of perfect timing.

Which got me to thinking of all the things out there.  The people we've touched with our own lives and what they may be up too.

And that led to a game of FB searching (stalking is such an ugly word) that has me smiling and remembering them all today.

And also adding people that I should have added a long time ago just to catch up.

Spring is around the corner, and with it comes the promise of something new.  I'm itching for it so badly these days and I'm not sure why.  Maybe because James will be 2 in just 7 weeks.  Maybe because my niece will be here in 2 weeks to stay for a few months.

Maybe it's cause that groundhog got it wrong and I just don't have the patience to wait longer for warmer weather.

Stupid groundhog.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Parenting WIN!

Saturday night we both sat down and began the process of filling plastic Easter eggs.

While James is too young to grasp the concept, one of his aunts is 10 and still young enough to enjoy playing with him and doing these things.  She was coming over, had planned to hide eggs with him, and then play with him while teaching him to hunt for them.

The plastic egg set had multiple colors, so I sorted boy colors and girl colors, and then divided the neutral eggs so they'd each have some yellow and orange ones

For my SIL we had bought a bag of mini peanut butter cups.  Her favorites.  I placed 1 or 2 in each egg and then tossed them in a bucket.

For James I had originally thought of putting a few mini M&Ms in each so they would rattle and we'd be able to tell which were his of the neutral ones.

I was about to start filling his when I thought of the issues we were about to run into.  Like chocolate melting.  Or him realizing the eggs had things in them and then eating all of the chocolate in one mad dash.

So, plan change.

We opted for Goldfish crackers.  He had a bag of the rainbow colored ones, so I put 5 fish in each egg.

And we were right!

See, James had been playing with one egg for the last 2 weeks.  He'd figured out how to open them and close them.  As soon as the first egg he picked up began to rattle you could tell he was thinking about what was going on.

And he opened the egg with no problem and devoured the little fish as quick as he could.

And that's pretty much all he wanted to do for dinner.  With a side of grilled cheese.

I think we won that round.  He enjoyed his Easter basket, complete with Spider-Man sandals for summer, and devoured crackers like it was the greatest thing ever.

We didn't have a toddler with a chocolate high and then horrible crash later.

What a great Easter!