Saturday, November 6, 2010

Here is something ... more to come.

I keep meaning to post something ... anything. So here are some photos.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Baby Finn has arrived

Well, my long journey of pregnancy is finally over. It finally ended three days past my due date. It is really so disappointing when you see your due date come and go and all you have to show for it is still not being able to see your toes.My labor began around 8 am on Tuesday, May 18 and Finn was finally born at 3:57 am on Wednesday, May 19 via c-section. So 20 hours later my new baby boy was here. Yay! Finn Michael was 9 pounds, 3 ounces and 21 inches long, (no wonder he didn't want to come out any other way than being cut out of me.) He was a big boy, seems to be a theme with me, big boys that don't want to come out. D-Man was 8 pounds, 10 ounces and was also delivered c-section (probably due to the size of his head.)Now we are home and trying to recover and get to know each other and develop a new routine. It is challenging but so worth it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Yep, having another boy ...

I wasn't trying to get pregnant, but I wasn't totally opposed to the idea either. I didn't really think this was the right time with the economy as it is and us only have a two bedroom, one bathroom house. But, somhow I got pregnant anyway. My husband said it was my body making the decisions with no regard to what my mind said. Maybe this is somewhat true.
I know I wanted my son to have a sibling and I really wanted to have a baby girl. This is something I always thought I would have. I never gave much thought in all the daydreaming years about being the mother of boy. But, my first child is a boy. The truth is that it is great and I wouldn't want to change him for anything. But, I thought the second time around ... maybe just maybe, a girl? Nope, another boy. At first, I have to admit I was disappointed, which is something I will never ever tell him. I think I just really thought I had a shot at a girl. So I gave myself one day to be sad and feel sorry for myself, then told myself to quit it. This baby may be a boy but he is still MY baby and I will love him no matter what.
Now I have adapted to the idea of having two sons and a husband. I think it will be great and I am really truly excited! Why be sad over something you never had and maybe were never meant to have. I know how to be a good mother to a boy, so that is a plus and he will have lots of hand-me-downs and he will have the most awesome big brother in all the land. Having two boys will be a wild ride but I am so excited for it. Now I just need to work on getting a bigger house in a better school district.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The 6-Month Update

I haven't blogged since summer. It is not that I haven't thought about it. I just kept thinking how will I compile all I have done since summer into a blog to catch up. It just seemed so daunting. I guess this is my attempt. I will have to leave some stuff out or perhaps just make a list.

  • late July - D-Man celebrated his third birthday with a party at our house. It was extremely hot and everyone lounged in Duncan's kiddie pool. Thanks Carly.
  • late July, early August - traveled in Coeur d'Alene, where it was actually more comfortable temperature wise. Saw my sister play Ruby in "Dames at Sea." Found out my Dad had to have quadruple bypass heart surgery. Stayed around a bit longer than I wanted to so I could see him through that. Came home for a week then went back to visit/check in on him. He was doing as well as expected.
  • early to mid August - planned a trip with my mom to NYC to visit Darcy and Tralen in September. Yay!!
  • September 8 - took a home pregnancy test. It was positive.
  • September 12-16 - Went to NYC for a vacation.
  • September 17 - D-Man's first day of preschool. So exciting. He was not nervous at all.
  • October 7 - first OB appointment and ultrasound. Saw my little jelly bean sized baby for the first time, made it all real.
  • October 8 - field trip to the pumpkin patch with D's preschool class.
  • Thanksgiving - traveled to Idaho to spend time with family and eat lots of food.
  • December 11-14 - faux Christmas with Darcy, Tralen and Alex in Idaho.
  • December 21 - second ultrasound, found out we are having another baby boy!
  • December 23-28 in Idaho celebrating Christmas with family.
  • January 2010 - In the midst of my second trimester, feeling pretty good but knowing what is coming. Not really scared, more anxious. I know this year is going to be crazy, but wonderful!
Some photos to document the above events:

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My Summer Vacation ... well not really

WOW! I have not blogged in a really long time. I guess I have been busy. It was summertime and I just couldn't find the time to sit at my computer and do anything other than play Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook. Talk about a time sucker.

Since I have last blogged;
  • we threw a birthday party for my son, which was awesome. We had a BBQ and some really hot weather so it went well. And D got a swimming pool for his birthday so it was perfect for all of our guest and their little ones to lounge in and cool off. D received his first sk8 board and was immediately ready to hop on and ride. Ryno was pretty proud.
  • D and I went to Idaho to see his Aunt Darcy perform in "Dames At Sea." He managed to get car sick on the way there and back after going over Snoqualmie Pass. He totally takes after me, poor kid.
  • We ended up spending a total of 10 days in Idaho rather than 5 because my Dad had quadruple bypass heart surgery. Talk about scary. I spent the better part of three days at the hospital. Not my favorite place. The day I came home, I got a call saying that my Dad had had a heart attack while still the hospital. So of course, the guilt that I left too early.
  • the next weekend I drove back to Idaho, solo. I spent an afternoon with my Dad so his wife could have a break with her daughter who was visiting her from Russia. We watched football while he dozed on the couch. I was glad I went and got to spend that time with him to reassure myself he would be ok.
  • that weekend marked the first time I was ever away from my son overnight. It went well and was easier than I expected. I guess he doesn't need me half as much as I had thought. It was a good practice run for when I go to NY for 5 days on Sept. 12, which I am so excited about.
  • Went to my good friend, Bill Canepa's wedding last weekend outside of Bellingham. It was one of the most fun weddings ever. It was all outdoors, which was great due to D's attention span and I am so happy for my friend that he found the woman of his dreams. There was also lots of dancing which D thoroughly enjoyed.

SO I guess I have been busy. My life is very full and I wish I had more motivation to keep up on blogging. But, I get motivated once in while but the rest of the time, not so much. That is just me.
So until next time.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby Boy!

Today is my son's third birthday. I can't believe he is three already. Time has really flown by. I know everyone says this but I remember him being tiny and so incapable of doing anything for himself. Now, he is becoming more and more self-sufficient every day. I love watching him grow and change. Every day is a new adventure, and I am enjoying the ride.

D-Man was born on July 23, 2006 at 5:34 am. He was 8 lbs. 10 oz.

The following is a recounting of the events that led up to his birth as remembered three years later.
Mid to late July of 2006 was unusually hot. It was around 100 degrees, and if you know Seattle weather, you know that is hot. So it was especially hard to be huge and 9 + months pregnant in that heat.
The night before we went to the hospital we slept in the basement, which I hate to do since I fear all the huge spiders. But, I guess I was desperate for a cooler place to sleep. I remember not being able to fall asleep and just crying and crying. Ryno didn't know what was wrong with me and I didn't either. I just kept saying that I didn't know why I was crying. So Ryno got a huge brownie from the store, we ate about half and then put the rest in the fridge. Eventually I fell asleep ... then awoke really early wanting more of that brownie, so I waddled my way upstairs to the fridge, gorged myself on the rest of the brownie. Then I waddled myself back down stairs and went back to sleep.
Then I woke back up around 10ish (don't really remember what time it was) got up and went upstairs because of course I had to pee ... looked in the mirror and saw that my early morning brownie gorging was still evident on my face ... all over my face. How embarrassing. After peeing I noticed that there was something funny happening ... my water had broken at least I think that was what was happening. I bow leggedly waddled out to tell Ryno. We really didn't know how to proceed. I was not having any pain or contractions so ... I called the hospital and spoke to a nurse who told me to come in, but told me there was no hurry so I could get ready and such.
So I showered, Ryno showered and we got our stuff together. It was so odd, we were calm and methodical. Who knew it would be like this? We got in the car with an empty car seat in the back, we knew when we came home that car seat would be filled with a brand new life. Crazy.
I called my mom in Idaho and told her to get in her car a make the 5 hour trek to the hospital, then called my friend Ciara and told her to do the same from Portland. We were on our way.
We got to the hospital, parked the car and began walking through the parking lot to the hospital. We got as far as the sidewalk before my water really broke. Suddenly, I was soaked down to my sandals. I was wearing a skirt and was wet all down my legs ending in a huge puddle on the sidewalk. Of course, this caused me to cry.
We made it into the hospital and I went to the info desk and told the woman that I was here to have my baby, she looked at me, rather alarmed and asked if I needed a wheelchair, I replied that I didn't need one and I could walk so she directed me to the elevator to go the birthing center. I got there and checked in at the nursing station where they were expecting me since I had called ahead. They set me up in a room and checked to make sure that my water had broken, which it indeed had. Everything was so calm, I sure didn't think it would be like this. Then the nurse came in to hook me up to pitocin and started the process. I didn't get an epidural right away because I wasn't hurting YET. But, soon enough the contractions started, then I wanted the drugs. I got my first epidural by a not so nice man, had a hard time sitting still. Apparently, I was too wiggly for it to work because it didn't. A few hours later I was in misery. My mom was there telling me to breathe, and I replied with I didn't want to, and didn't want to do this anymore. We knew it was time for another. But, I had to wait because the anestesiologist was in surgery ... so I waited and waited and waited. Finally I got another one and this time there was relief and I slept ... they woke me periodically to check me but I wasn't getting anywhere.
This is where my recollection is fuzzy but I know I didn't have my dr. because she was off that weekend. Instead I had a different dr. from the same practice, who was old and not very nice. But, at this point I wasn't really paying attention to that. I was paying more attention to the fact that they kept having to hook me up to oxygen. They said they were having a hard time with the baby's heart rate. After about 3 attempts at giving me oxygen they finally said I was going to need a c-section. Hearing this was devastating. That was the one thing I didn't want. And, it was the way the dr. said it. By now it was close to 5 am the day after I went to the hospital. The dr. said, "I am going home at 7 am so you will be having the baby before that." Even in my altered and vulnerable state I was shocked by this statement. I couldn't believe she was more worried about going home at 7 then about me having my child. I knew right then that I would never like this woman. The woman who was about to perform surgery on me a deliver my baby.
I remember them rolling me away in tears followed by Ryno. I saw the faces of my mom and Ryno's mom and they were so sad for me. Everyone knew I was scared to death of having a c-section. Now it was my reality. I remember then giving me some more drugs and trying to keep me awake, I guess I kept falling asleep. I think it was because I didn't want to deal. I do remember Ryno at my side, holding my hand. Then I heard the most beautiful sound, a cry. The cry of my son. It broke through everything else and I knew it was all ok. Then they held him up above the sheet that blocked my view of what was happening down below. What a beautiful face. They cleaned him up and let Ryno hold him, and for the first time I saw my very stoic husband cry a little bit. Then they got ready to wheel me back to my room and let me carry him. I remember that in the hallway all my family was there and they were following my bed being wheeled back to the room. It was all so surreal. Once we were there, the nurse took him to weigh and measure him and give him his first bath. I was in shock, for real. My jaw hurt so bad and my teeth were chattering. I remember my mom rubbing my jaw. But, I was happy. My son was here and he was happy and healthy. My life would never be the same. It would be better than I ever expected. Even with all the drama of his birth I know I am blessed to have a healthy and happy child. I am thankful everyday for him.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sister!!

I haven't blogged for a while now. Not sure why. I have had plenty of things I could have said, but in the end, I just didn't. I will try to do better, really I will.

Today is my younger sister, Darcy's 28th birthday. So in honor of her and her special day, I am posting some pics of us from our younger days. Happy Birthday, Sister. I love you.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Free-Range Kids?

A Friend of mine recently sent me a link to the following article, which appeared in Newsweek Magazine. Ironically, this friend has no children and has no plan to have any. (So what is she doing reading a story about mothering?!) Maybe she just wanted to see what those of us who are mothers think of the "Free-Range Kids" movement.

Whatever the case, I found the article interesting and it made me think, are we coddling our kids too much? Are our kids going to grow up being scared of their own shadows because we are too frightened to let them experience anything without holding our hands?

I haven't really decided how I feel about this yet. But, I do have to admit that it made me think about my parenting style and what I want my parenting style to be. I hope to be able to find a happy medium. But, who am I kidding? I am a first-time-Mom.

Enjoy the following article and let me know what you think.

Mothering As A Spectator Sport

The author of "Free-Range Kids" on why it's time for us to stop obsessing about childhood dangers and the consequences of every decision we - and other moms - make.

By Lenore Skenazy / Special to Newsweek

Happy Mother's Day!

Oh, I know the burnt toast and dandelion bouquet won't come till May 10. But, lately every day is Mother's Day, thanks to our relentless focus on mom (and to a lesser extent dads) and the way they parent.

Parenting has become a spectator sport. We set the bar extremely high for what is "good" parenting and start judging the moment we hear someone did something that could be considered one drop dangerous.

I should know. I'm the mom who let her 9-year-old ride the New York subway by himself. Just about a year ago I made national news when my husband and I decided to take our son someplace he hadn't been before and let him try to find his way home by himself on public transportation. (By day, not very far from home, with money and a may and quarters for a phone call.) The very thing he'd been begging us to let him do for months. He made it home fine. btw, but millions of folks weighed in, often critically, on my parenting.

Now I feel a little like Miss America, passing my "Bad Mom" crown and scepter to Madlyn Primoff, the Scarsdale, NY, lawyer who was arrested for endangering the welfare of a child a few weeks back after she left her two daughters, ages 10 and 12, in a shopping area of a New York City suburb because they were bickering in the car. (Both the girls got home safely, though one did wind up waiting for her parents at the local police station.)
Primoff can have the crown, but I'm keeping the scepter for self-defense. All moms could use one. It was only when complete strangers started saying I was lazy/crazy/cable-TV-fodder-in-the-making that I began to understand that a lof of us Americans are raising our kids in the utter state of panic. We are convinced that every day, in every way, our children are in terrible peril. We are obsessed with other parents' child-rearing decisions - and our own - because we're being told each one is of life and death importance.

And it's not just about stranger danger. It begins even before birth, with the pregnancy diet books (a whole new genre!) telling us "each bite" is going to determine if our kids are golden - or duds. Same goes for every other parenting decision we make: are you have natural childbirth? If not, you're traumatizing the baby! Are you breastfeeding? If not, your kid's going to be a dummy! With allergies? And extra-chunky thighs! Are you feeding your kid nonorganic baby food? Did you wait too long to sign her up for music lessons? Shouldn't you get that toy that teaches multiplication? But the biggest decision of all, of course, is: can I ever leave my kids to their own devices? To climb a tree or walk to school? And lately, the answer is: no. Not until their hair goes gray and they start liking bran flakes. The prevailing belief is that even one unscheduled, unsupervised childhood episode (like the car ejection) is dangerous to the point of criminal. That kids could never possibly buck up and ask someone for helf, or figure out how to use a public phone, or ask direction to the police station.

But that Scarsdale lawyer's kids were not preschoolers. At age 10 or 12 in other areas, those kids have been apprenticed already. Or working as servants in someone else's house, or picking coffee beans. Actually, in other countries, some children that age are still picking coffee beans. Why do we assume that today's American kids are the dumbest, most vulnerable, least competent generation ever - and that we are doing them a favor by treating them almost as if they are disabled? ("Let me open the car door for you, honey!) Because that's what our culture tells us to do. It tells us that kids need extra classes, extra padding and extra supervision just to make it through another day. It tells us we should always plan for the worst-case scenario. And it warns us that they are in physical danger from a crime-crazed world, even though, nationally, our crime rate is back to what it was in 1970. Yes, if you grew up in the '70s or '80s, times are safer now than when you were a kid. That's according to U.S. Bureau of Justice statistics. We Americans have a very hard time believing that good news because good news is not what we are soaking in. Mostly we are soaking in 24-hour cable, bringing is the worst stories - especially child abductions - from all corners of the globe. (Aruba, anyone? Portugal?) When we flip to TV police dramas like "CSI," we see maggots and autopsies and the freakiest, saddest scenarios Hollywood can dream up, usually involving duct tape. These stories, so graphically told, sear themselves on our brains. Pick up a parenting magazine instead, and we find article after article, "Is your child's crib safe?" "Is your child's food safe?" "Is your child's [fill in the blank with something that seems extremely safe, like a pillow] safe?" If that magazine can't convince us that it has some lifesaving info that we really must read to keep our kids alive, we won't buy it. So it's in the same biz as TV news: It simply has to scare us.

In short: we are being brainwashed with fear and it makes us worry that everything we do as parents may be putting our kids in danger. That's why we judge other parents so harshly, and why we keep out kids cloistered like Rapunzel. Don't get me wrong. As founder of the Free-Range Kids movement - a group of people who believe in giving kids more freedom and responsibility - my philosophy is not to throw kids out of the car (sorely tempting though that may be at times). But, Free-Range parents do believe that kids are more capable and competent that we give them credit for. And that, after teaching them basic safety, they need some freedom to develop as smart, happy, responsible humans. Not crazy freedom. Just the kind of freedom we had. back when parenting decisions were not the stuff of national news.

Skenazy is founder of the blog-turned-parenting-movement and author of, "Free Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry." (Wiley, April 2009)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I Will Remember You

Recently I posted a blog about losing my cousin to suicide. Last week I traveled 300 miles to attend his funeral. I knew this was going to be hard and very emotional, so I tried to prepare myself. I don't think there is a way to prepare for something like this. Some aspects of the whole funeral process were just as hard as I thought they would be, and some were harder.

The day before the funeral there was a viewing at the funeral home. Before attending I was unsure if this was something I wanted to attend. I wasn't sure if I needed to see him. I didn't know if this would bring closure. I am still unsure how I feel about it. In some ways I am glad I got to say goodbye but in some ways I worry that it may have changed my final memory of my cousin.

My last living memory of Matthew was from last Christmas Eve. Each year we all get together and have a holiday celebration with food, gifts and games. Each year we end up playing the card game, "Pit." We all love it, it is loud and chaotic and just the best time. Last year was the first year that I can remember Matthew playing with us. There are a few things about playing that game that night that stick out in my mind. One being all of us laughing hysterically, seriously. I have a video that my step-dad shot with my camera of all of us just cracking up. The other memory is of me sharing a bit too much info about my fear of cows, (seriously, they are just scary.) I remember everyone laughing and making fun of me about it. It didn't bother me, it is all a part of being a member of a huge extended family. I will never forget Matthew kept saying how he was going to get me something with a cow head on it next Christmas. Now that will never happen. But, the memory of the conversation gives me comfort. I feel like that memory and that conversation is mine to keep, no one can touch it. I will carry it with me always.

Memories are funny things. Some memories you can never erase no matter how hard you try and some are fleeting like time.

I was there when my Uncle (also my Godfather) saw Matthew for the first time at the viewing and that memory will forever be etched in my mind. It broke my heart to watch him crumble in the doorway and have to be held up by my parents. It broke my heart to watch him say goodbye to his son, to a piece of him. But, what struck me the most was what he had the clarity of mind to say after. He said, "I thought I was complete and then I met Leslie, (my aunt) then I thought I was complete, then we had Matthew ... then I was complete. How do I go on without him?"

Through all the heartbreak I saw the human spirit triumph through faith and love. My family is so important to me, I saw everyone band together to support each other, I also saw that my Aunt and Uncle's faith in God will get them through this as well as their love for each other. In my heart I know we will all be OK and will find a way to live without Matthew in our lives but he will live on forever in our hearts and memories. Matthew will forever be with me.

I don't think saying goodbye to him has changed my final memory. I still see him playing Pit and laughing. That is how I will remember him always.

Matthew Hopkins
March 26, 1993 - April 21, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Rest In Peace, Matthew.

Yesterday I learned of the death of my cousin, Matthew. Any death is a sad event and a profound loss. But, this seems different. His death was not the result of an accident or illness. He committed suicide.

How do you make sense of the loss a smart, loving and wonderful 16-year-old boy? Especially like this? There are so many questions that will probably never been answered, like why? He had everything going for him. He had straight A's, loved baseball, hunting and recently got his driver's license.

How does a parent go on when their only child dies? This has hit me especially hard because I have a young son. I can not imagine what I would do if this happened to my child. Last night all I could do was watch D sleeping and kiss him and hope his dreams were sweet. That is all we want for our children ... everything.

So what now? I guess we move on, grieve and try to comfort each other. Most of all we have to remember the good times and how he touched our lives and that we are better for having known him at all. He only had 16 years on this earth, but he left his mark on all our hearts.

Matthew, you will be missed. I love you.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The TV is Moving!

My son loves to spin around in circles until he is too dizzy to stand up. I for one do not see the appeal in this but still love to watch D-Man partake.
Tonight he spun round and round then stopped and said, "The TV is moving." This was the funniest thing I have heard in a long time. The best part is that D-man really thought the TV was moving.
It will be a sad day when things like spinning in
circles will not be enough to keep my son happy. Someday he will move on to being really in to girls, video games and fast cars. But for now I am just happy with watching my son spin in circles, and I am glad he is too.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Sad Truth, my life is now ... only being lived through Facebook

Lately I have been staring at my blog that I never update and wonder why? Why do I have such a hard time finding things to blog about? My life is really not that boring. But, still I can find nothing to say. Then I look at some of my friend's blogs, some people have so much to say and have a new one like every other day! (Kerrie, I am talking about you! You must be like superwoman.)

So instead of writing something super profound or interesting I am just going to say that I love my son, husband, family and friends so much and would love to chat and catch up with them the old fashioned way more often.

When I say old fashioned, I mean the telephone or possibly in person. It seems like most people don't have real relationships anymore and everyone lives vicariously through Facebook. I admit I am guilty of this too. I am addicted to Facebook. To me it is a little bit voyeuristic, which I love. You get to see a glimpse of other people's lives, but of course you have to remember it is only what they WANT you to see. You rarely get the real, true picture of someone's life. Wouldn't it be great if everyone was really as happy and successful as they seem on Facebook? I have really enjoyed getting to know who married who from high school or how many kids the Mormons that I went to school with have popped out, without really having to talk to them. But, these are not real relationships, and might as well not be real people. I think I want to try to have real friendships that can stand the true test - a phone conversation that lasts more than 5 minutes or a conversation over coffee and cupcakes.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Snow Day In Renton

It doesn't snow in Renton very often, so when it does we have to take full advantage of it.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Who is Darby anyway?

My son loves, loves, loves the characters from Winnie the Pooh. He knows all of them on sight and has for quite some time. His favorite is Piglet. He has a little stuffed Piglet that he has had since birth that is his transitional object. Seriously, my son loves him. I have had to sew him back together at least 3 times! He is so dirty, and once upon a time he had stripes and squeeked. No more of either one, the stripes can only be seen in old pictures and the squeek, it is a distant memory.
D-Man is not really into television, he doesn't know who Barney is or who Dora or Diego are. (I like it and plan to keep it that way.) But he loves his Pooh characters.

So we DVR the show, "My Friends Tigger and Pooh." It is on the Disney channel and he will watch those and laugh and laugh and ask for more "Tiggpooh." I even starting enjoying them, but it lead me to ask the obvious questions, if you have ever seen the show. Who is Darby and where the heck is Christopher Robin? It seems that the 100 acre wood must have had a little too much testosterone so they added a little girl to make it more appealing to females? Personally I don't like Darby, she is a know-it-all and doesn't really do it for me. D-Man, well he doesn't care as long as Piglet, Tigger (he calls him Rarrr) and Pooh are there. I guess that is what really matters. Little kids don't care that Christopher Robin has been replaced by an annoying little girl named Darby, why should I?

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Very Batman Christmas

This Christmas we decided to make D-Man's Santa presents have a theme. It was decided that the theme would be Batman. For the main present we bought D the Bat Cave, then we bought all the figures that go with it, like the Joker, the Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Batman, Robin and even Superman and his dog. We also bought all the vehicles such as, the Bat Wing, Bat Car, helicopter and motorcycles. We also bought Batman slippers and Batman pajamas with a cape to complete the experience.

Christmas morning 2008 was more fun than I can remember since I was kid. There is something about watching your own child open their presents and be so excited. It was so w
orth having to wrap all that stuff! I can't wait until next Christmas!