Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Playtime Blues.

One of my biggest failings as a mother (what a way to start a post!) is that I'm really uncreative when it comes to playing with Jack. For a while I just sort of blamed it on his age - that he wasn't quite at the stage where we could really pretend play and also lacked the attention span to listen to a whole book (I LOVE reading out loud to kids). But then I'd watch my mom or Tim play with him and they seemed to be able to keep him entertained for long stretches of time - and have fun while doing so. My mom in particular is great at coming up with ways to involve Jack in what she's doing as well as just thinking up different games, all the while teaching him some life skill in the process. That's why we always joke that one day Jack will spend a day with my mom and he'll be able to read and write by the end of it.

But me? I run out of ideas really fast, if there are any ideas to begin with. That said, I've never pretended to be a "kid person" and by that I mean, someone who is great with children and can come up with all the fun games and ways of relating to them that really stimulates their imagination. Maybe I'm just not intentional enough - if I'm too distracted by house work or other plans I have for the day, it's harder for me to focus and set aside time just to play with Jack.

Or perhaps I overcomplicate things - a one and a half year old isn't exactly looking to play an elaborate game of trucks versus dinosaurs. He just wants to play... anything. And probably the same game over and over. But because I find games on repeat kind of boring (and playtime, after all, is all about me!) I tend to lose interest and want to move on to something else sooner than Jack does.

Outings, like the library, are always an easy way for both of us to feel entertained but since having the baby I've been cooped up in the house. I can't wait for the weather to warm up so that we can go for walks and take advantage of the outdoors (which Jack loves).

Ugh - anyways, this is me venting about sucking at the playtime thing and hoping I get better at it with time. Of course, not too far down the road Moses will be Jack's first-choice buddy and I'll be chopped liver. But in the meantime.... I need to smarten up and be a better playmate to this guy:

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tiny House

I love the idea of this - the operative word here being idea. I love the clean lines and how everything seems to have a place. I love that every possession seems thought out and completely intentional. But I think I'd find this kind of living a little suffocating long-term. The house looks immaculate, almost too immaculate. Stiff. Barely lived in. I feel like if I visited, I'd have to sit up straight and speak softly or read quietly from one of the very uniform set of hardcover tomes on the bookshelf. I think if this was my house I'd want a bookcase with some variety and I'd probably crave a bag of chips every now and then. But like I said, I like the idea. I love the underlying concept - of being organic and simple and living intentionally.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pink Heart Love.

For about a week now, I have had the overwhelming desire to decorate the house for Valentine's Day (obviously not this minute, but soon). Why? No clue. This has never happened before. In fact, I've barely nodded in the direction of said holiday even after getting married. I can't decide if my urge to "recognize" is because I really want to celebrate the day or because I just like the color pink and filling my environment with heart shaped things is a happy thought.

The dilemma, of course, is that decorations cost $$ even if you make them yourself (especially if you make them yourself, in some cases). That said, I'm going to lightly entertain the thought of doing the place up for February 14. Here are some of my favorite options:

- a little involved, but inexpensive and I do love the effect. 

- simpler but time consuming

Raspberry Tart Cookies
- easy and delicious!

We'll see how far I get with acting on any of these projects (there's a lot of tempting "ready mades" at Target). I have yet to paint that picture for the living room wall, although I did sort my sock drawer/bins last week - another tick on my list of things to do! Hopefully I'll have the whole list completed before long and will be able to start a new one (or take a break...)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thank You Zantac.

Jack: the picture of milk-drunk
contentment, pre acid reflux
Both my children started out as content, sleepy, sweet little babes with nary a care in the world. They'd eat and promptly fall asleep (see picture to the right) and during their brief periods of wakefulness, they would sit quietly gazing out into the 9 inch parameter their undeveloped eyes allowed them to see. And then a nasty little condition called acid reflux would enter the picture and all that was calm became cranky and all that was contented became completely uncomfortable.

With Jack, the change in temperament happened sometime around July 27, 2010 at one month old. I know this because I blogged about it. I entitled the post "I spoke too soon" because I'd posted a few days prior about how "easy" a baby Jack was. Ironically, I started writing a post a few days ago saying the same thing about Moses - what a dream he is, how easy he makes it for me to transition from one child to two. It's as if the acid reflux knows when I'm just starting to relish in the greatness of my babies, that it decides to rear its ugly head and make their lovely nursing times into a horrible experience full of grimaces, tears and screaming.

click to enlarge
Thankfully, I was able to get ahold of my pediatrician tonight to request a speedy over the phone prescription of baby Zantac* which is what we used to help Jack.  Now, when it comes to medication I tend to air on the side of caution and avoid it unless absolutely necessary. But when it comes to things like Tim's blood pressure medication or giving my babies something to help their extreme discomfort, I make sure a dose isn't missed. So here's hoping the Zantac does the trick ** and returns my sweet Moses to his normal, quiet, contented self who's currently sitting in the Boppie, sucking on a pacifier and listening to Adele with hands crossed on his chest.

* I like how on the bottle they put Moses in quotations as if its a fake name.
** UPDATE: Moses seems to be doing better. It's still a little touch and go, but for the most part we're back to normal. Thank you Zantac.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Coming Home.

In the months leading up to Moses' birth, all Tim and I seemed to be able to talk about was how excited we were for the 4 day hospital stay. For whatever reason, those four days were like this blissful vacation when I was here having Jack. With everything that's gone on the past month, we were looking to this hospital stay as another little "getaway."  Don't get me wrong - it has been nice having four days free of any major responsibility besides loving on Moses. But I think we were both ready to go home by Day 3.  We really really miss our own bed as well as the freedom to go outside (Tim went out a few times - I looked out the window longingly). 

And while it was nice having time with the baby without having to worry about minding Jack (who's been with my parents the whole time) I think we both began to long to be reunited in our own little home.  Last night really confirmed that when, as my parents were preparing to leave, Jack started reaching out for me and crying "Moooooom!" It was heart-wrenching. Then I had to watch him crying for me, arms outstretched, as they walked down the hall all confused as to why I wasn't coming to get him. The front desk nurses witnessed the whole scene and I apologized for the noise, but they both looked about as heartbroken as I was and asked if I was ok.

So here we are, waiting to get discharged on a beautiful sunny day. I woke up this morning feeling (somewhat) rested and just so grateful that we would be going home. I'm sure the months ahead are going to be challenging as we learn to get into a new schedule and way of life, but knowing God is with us and that we have some pretty awesome family and friends to help when needed - I think it's going to be just fine.  

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Moses Joshua Myers
Born January 12, 2012 @ 8:43 am
8 lbs 9oz, 20.75 inches long

He's here! He's beautiful! I'm in love! I also have my answers:

Will I be awake for the surgery, or will they have to put me under?
Yes, I was awake!! It was all dependent on my platelet count (which determines whether you can get a spinal rather than general anesthesia). With Jack, it had to be 100,000. It was 101,000 that day. This time it had to be between 80,000 - 100,000. It was 79,000. One over, one under. God likes to work in small margins! Thankfully, the anesthesiologist felt comfortable going ahead with things. Praise the Lord.

What if I wake up and something terrible is wrong with the baby?
The only point of concern was when Moses wouldn't calm down for an hour, and his skin tone was a blue shade (he was pretty mad). They put the tiniest oxygen mask on him I've ever seen and sent a pediatrician in to make sure he was o.k (he was!) Moses had lots of mucus in his lungs (typical of C-section babies) so they had to keep shoving a suction thing into his mouth to get it out. I'd be mad too if that was how I was welcomed into the world!

What if I get a spinal and it causes paralysis?
Nope. Not paralyzed.

Is the baby going to be just as healthy?
So far, so good! He scored high on those.. baby tests they do (?) ... and his little body has been working just as it should. He's also great at latching on and eating, unlike Jack who took a few weeks to get the hang of it. He has such a sweetness about him too. 

What will he look like?
Jack (left) and Moses (right)
Just like his brother except he has darker hair and is a little more "serious" it seems. 
He's also got really long toes and fingers just like his mom!

Will the recovery be just as smooth?
Yes! Better in fact. On a scale of 1 to 10, my pain level has remained at a one and without the aid of a lot of medication. I bounced back from this surgery sooner.  Still waiting for my blood sugar levels to normalize, but I'm covering it in prayer and hope my pancreas will bounce back in the coming days/weeks.

How am I going to manage two children once I get home?
I have no idea. But I was filled with this overwhelming sense of peace and contentment the day after he was born. Fear had been replaced with joy and worry had been changed into relief. I hope that same sense of peace takes me through the next few months. It's also encouraging to see just how fascinated Jack is with his little brother - he likes to give him little head pats here and there. I think these little boys are going to love each other very much!

A couple of other wonderful things about this C-section experience was that in the end I was so much more relaxed as they prepped me for surgery as well as when I was finally on the operating table. Covering those hours in prayer is what helped me to stay focused and calm. Best of all,  Moses was able to stay with me as I was recovering from the surgery. With Jack, they let Tim hold him for about five minutes before taking him to the nursery for observation (babies of diabetic moms have to have their blood sugars monitored right away). Thankfully, they did this all from the comfort of my arms :) 

Today is our last full day at the hospital and while our experience has been a positive one,  Tim and I can't wait to get home and sleep in our own bed again and introduce Moses to his new home. We also can't wait to see our little man Jack, who's been with his grandparents since Wednesday night. We are so blessed and I can't stop thanking God for his goodness to us!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Almost there...

I'm scheduled to deliver the baby tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. I can't believe we're this close! It's exciting and slightly terrifying at the same time. Tim's calm, cool and collected as always, but I'm a bundle of nerves and questions...

Will I be awake for the surgery, or will they have to put me under?
What if I wake up and something terrible is wrong with the baby?
What if I get a spinal and it causes paralysis?
Is the baby going to be just as healthy?
What will he look like?
Will the recovery be just as smooth?
How am I going to manage two children once I get home?

I know - I sound completely erratic. But giving birth is a big deal people! Of course, the answer to all of these questions is - no one but God knows. I think I have such troubling thoughts because I read these blogs, and the reality is - not every child is given a clean bill of health. So I'm just running through prayer after prayer, pleading with Jesus to watch over us, have mercy on me and the baby and to bless us with a smooth delivery and a healthy child. It feels like a lot to ask for - I don't know why. Bottom line: I can't wait for it to be tomorrow and have my answers, whether they're what I hope for or not. Bringing another person into this world is such a crazy, overwhelming, miraculous, chaotic, beautiful thing to be a part of. It's ... profound. And as much as I have questions to keep me mindful that this baby is coming, the fact that there will be a fourth member in our family by this time tomorrow feels completely unreal.

You'd think - with a day left to go - I'd have the nursery completely ready to go. And in terms of functionality, its all good. But there are a still a few pictures to hang so for now I'll reveal baby #2's corner of the room, which is simple but cheerful:

It's not much - and I think I'll hang a picture on that wall to the right, but for now it'll do! Jack will be staying at my mom's tonight since we have to be at the hospital for 5:30 a.m. so I'm hoping that (after a nice dinner at the Cheesecake Factory!) we'll have some time to finish up the room.

So... please, if you're one who prays - remember us tonight and tomorrow morning in your conversation with God. And pray too for those little ones I mentioned above who are fighting for their health. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Reading Material & Resolutions

Just like most people, I love reading material that captivates me in that can't-put-it-down-ever kind of way. This summer I read some great books and re-read some old favorites. I often alternate between the old and the new, the old more often than not being children's novels I read when I was younger.  One particular series I read every few years is Enid Blyton's Malory Towers (I'm currently on book four of six).

While I'm in the hospital this week, I'm also looking forward to tucking into The Heart of Simple Living by Wanda Urbanska. My hope is that it will inspire me to continue my journey towards well, living simply. I also keep hearing about this e-book on various blogs and since its only $5 (and has gotten so much praise) I think I might just have to invest.

One of my goals for 2012 is also to read a book of the Bible I have yet to read in completion. I haven't decided which yet, but I'm leaning towards something from the Old Testament since I'm more familiar with (and tend to favor) the New. Speaking of that list of goals, I've re-worked and paired down my original list to something more realistic and attainable:

{1} Intentionally build into someone else's life (outside of family) on a practical as well as spiritual level  - i.e. invest time, thought and care into the relationship through communication and acts of kindness.

{2} Get back in shape after having baby (i.e. dust off the elliptical).

{3} Read one book of the Bible I have never read in completion.

{4} Make time for creative projects (photography, drawing, painting... something
at least once a month, if not more.

{5} Continue to work towards having "nothing in my house that I do not know to be useful, 
or believe to be beautiful" (as inspired by this).

There are other things I hope for this year, like doing my best to maintain a tidy house or being better about cooking well balanced meals, but I hate to put those things down as "must" do's since they are already daily givens - things I hope to achieve on a regular basis rather something to work towards in the long run. They are also things I know I'll fail at sometimes often, in the wake of adjusting to raising two children under the age of two. So for now, I will keep my list to this simple list of five goals that I hope will enrich the year.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Jack, as of late.

Jack says:
Nee (nanny)
Pa (grandpa or potty, depending on the context!)
Pih (pig)
Bee (blanket or bink)
Bree (cousin brianna)
Pees (please)
Bah (goodbye)
Lo? (hello?)
La La (when he wanted to watch Muppets Family Christmas)
Joe (Curious George)
Doh (door)
Hah! (hot - which he says about everything)
Ray (raisins)
Chee (cheese)
Pee & Poo (of course)
Ha (hat)
He (hand)
Dah (dog)
Toe (toast)
Tee (teeth, tegan - who lives upstairs, or tink - his aunt & uncles dog)

Jack loves:
banging on his drum
pointing out pigs or saying "mooo!" when he sees a cow
watching Curious George
to say goodbye to whatever is being flushed down the toilet
chocolate soy milk
pointing out body parts, especially nose, tongue and eye
yelling "Maaa" or "Dadddeeeeee" when he wakes up, needs us or if we leave his line of view
playing with his cousins
holding hands, especially when praying before meals
requesting a kiss if injured, or giving a kiss if you seem in pain/sad
playing with anything that's not a toy
waving at people
his blanket (bee)
playing guitar with Daddy
wrestling with Daddy
Daddy in general

I know there's more for both categories, but that's all I can think of!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Bedroom: Before & After

It's finished!! It only took about 4 months (or a year if you count it from the first moment I had the itch to renovate) to pull together, but it's done! Here's what the room looked like about a year ago:

The Before: 

click to enlarge images
1) I should have known from the beginning that the wall color would only last so long; as much as purple is my favorite color, I tend to stick with the deep, rich hues - never the pastels. Sure enough, the color went from calming to depressing - a metaphorical rain cloud. And the picture of the Eiffel Tower that I thought would look so perfect above the bed just never worked for me; maybe it was the gray tones that added to the dismal feel of the room. It now hangs nicely over the book shelf in the office.

2) I could never find bedding that really complimented the wall color - hence the drab white duvet cover, which now lays in a pile in our closet.

3) The $40 Etsy wall decal that seemed like a good idea at the time (there's a white accent, it's just hard to see). It was a pain to apply and even harder to remove - I had to use a credit card to scrape it off which also took chunks out of the wall :(

4) The best part of the room by far was this $15 dresser craigslist find (amazing!)

The After:

The wall color is now a seafoamy green and I couldn't be happier. I also love my little collection of pictures (photo credit Madeline Bea) above the dresser (the frames only cost me $3.99 each at Target!)

I don't have a before of this little section of the room, but I love what it is now.

1) I've wanted this poster (used in Britain during World War II) for a long time, but never wanted to spend the money on it (the color I liked only came with a price tag of $25!) This one cost me $0 (the frame was only $6!) since I made it myself in Pages (using Al Bayan bold font and a crown graphic I copied from a digital image of the original poster). Anyways, I love the motto - I think its one to live by, especially with kids.

2) My wedding bouquet which sits on a little table I love that belonged to my Nanny (grandmother). It has a little cupboard and everything!

3) My favorite ultrasound picture of Jack 

I saved the best for last! 

1) The dot painting. It took me about 8 hours to complete over the past three days and I'm super happy with how it turned out. It was one of those projects that's pretty hard to mess up, but is still a lot of work to recreate. The most tedious part was spacing and drawing the circles (using a ruler and a compass) and the most challenging was matching the colors - I followed this color pattern for the most part. However, it was such a rewarding project to take on especially considering it only cost me $30 for the canvas (buying a painting like this at a store would definitely run into the $100s considering the size).

2) Yes, I finally found the elusive duvet cover I've been hunting for! A bargain at Target and it compliments the room nicely. So for now, I consider my work complete!

A Toddler's Rules of Possesion

I saw this on Pinterest and it made me laugh :)

COMING SOON! The bedroom is finally complete. Pictures to come!

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