Reflections on my chaotic life of minivans, tantrums, deadlines, and diets ... a life I wouldn't trade for the world.

Friday, June 22, 2012

My Kids

No one could deny they are siblings!

The above photos are from their 2012 school photos. Apparently, C wasn't so into picture day, and J just wanted to nap. 

Also trending:
  • C telling us to go away or just go somewhere else. It usually comes in the form of "mommy back" or "mommy gate" (i.e., go to the other side of the baby gate) or "mommy couch" (i.e., go sit on the couch that is far away from me)
  • C kissing anything and everything. The latest object of his affection? Chewbacca from his Star Wars ABCs book.
  • C learning to dress himself, which usually means 5 minutes of him running around in his diaper while we struggle to get his shirt over his oversized head.
  • J sitting up. Well, sitting up for 10 seconds and then slowly listing one direction or the other. She's getting there though.
  • J adoring her brother. The girl can't stop smiling whenever C walks into the room. I am sure this will end when they start sharing toys.
OK, I know only friends and family read my blog, but I am trying to avoid using my kids' full names. Is that just irrational paranoia? Does posting their pictures just cancel it out? Is "irrational paranoia" redundant? Thoughts?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

One Appendix and Many Brain Cells Lighter

Last weekend, we headed to the Seattle area for my niece-in-law's graduation party, excited to see Bill's extended family. Before leaving, we'd waffled about whether to stay in town, as I had a bad stomachache. We decided to stock up on Mylanta and Tums and give it a go, but conditions did not improve on the 3-hour drive up. In fact, I'd also developed a pesky side-stitch, which I then attributed to my lack of ability to breathe normally because of my stomachache. Clearly, I am no doctor.

When we got to the party, I struggled to chase my son around, wincing when I picked him up. I was grateful when my daughter was ready to eat, because that meant I could finally sit down. Sweet relief. Standing up again brought such pain that I was forced to walk with my torso tilted forward at a 15-degree angle.

Finally, I got Bill to call it a day, and we headed back to his grandma's house, where I balled up on the couch. Remarkably, it took us a good 12 hours of this nonstop pain to think to look it up on the Internet. Dr. Google's diagnosis: appendicitis. I was still skeptical, but despite my fear of going to the hospital only to be told I have bad gas, we headed to Highline Medical CenterWe chose Highline because of its proximity to Bill's grandma's house; we chose wrong.

I am not even going to go through the entire list of what went wrong at the hospital. It ranged from the nurses not knowing how to read records, to a faulty blood-pressure machine, to disagreement over how soon I could safely nurse my daughter (yikes!). I felt as though I was being Punk'd. The only thing that I am *pretty* sure went right is the surgery itself. So far, I have been healing well, and have shown no signs of missing any other organs (though, strangely, there are no stitches on the side where my appendix used to reside ... hmm).

After 36 hours of these hijinks, we headed home, where I continued my recovery. The pain subsided in a couple of days, but the anesthesia hangover lasted days longer. I slept for hours on end, unable to work or take care of my kids. Bill really stepped up and took over as Mr. Mom, earning himself a guilt-free pass to CEDIA in September. Today I am almost fully recovered, though I am still not allowed to carry anything heavy (e.g. my son).

The lessons here? Never leave town with a stomachache, and research your hospital. If the emergency room is empty on a Saturday night, or the nurses indirectly blame you for the poor care because you came in on the weekend (true story), run away and don't look back.

(Sidenote: I emailed customer service at the hospital, and they have diligently followed up.)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Give and Take ... But Mostly Give

Not my Prius
This morning I went to Maplewood Coffee, drank two cups of coffee, and read. Alone. Entire articles in a real magazine made out of paper. It was truly the highlight of my week.

Of course, the politically correct thing to say here would be that seeing my son do this or daughter do that was really the highlight of my week. But after day after day of just trying to find time to take a shower, carving out 45 minutes to do nothing but be selfish was honestly the best thing I did this week.

We parents of young children do nothing but give and give and expect nothing in return; the unconditional love of our children should be enough, right? We wake up at the crack of dawn after a night of broken sleep, give all of our time to our kids, and then go to work and give (well, sell) our time to our employers. We then return home to give and give again until the kids finally go to bed, at which point we give in the form of preparing for the next day of giving. It's exhausting, all this give and no take.

So this morning I decided to take, and it was good. That 45 minutes was what I needed to recharge and be the mom my kids need me to be, and not the one fighting back the urge to run out of the house screaming. I made a resolution to schedule this "me" time every week, whether that takes the form of a quick run or reading time at the coffee shop. It doesn't have to be a whole day off, or some big spa excursion. Just a few minutes to remind myself that I am more than just mom. I will be a better mother for it.