Saturday, January 29, 2011

you can never have too many...

Or, rather, I can never have too many...

1. Measuring spoon sets.

2. Cake stands.

3. Projects on my to-do list.

4. Tabs open in a browser window.

5. Plants on my garden wish list.

6. Handfuls of chocolate chips.

7. T-shirts.

8. Bowls of cereal.

9. Pieces of furniture with stories behind them.

10. Leftover biscuits.

11. Hours in a day.

12. Friends.

How about you?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

weekend fun 4:52

Half Moon Bay plant nurseries! We went in search of half wine barrels for our new apricot tree (inexpensive little bare root from OSH) and blueberry bush (Costco!). We obviously won't be living in this rental forever, so when we leave we want to be able to take these things with us.

We quickly found out that all the nurseries in Half Moon Bay are sold out of wine barrels. What?? Luckily we spotted two as we drove by one of the nurseries. So we snatched them up!!

I also came home with a nice little collection for my garden. They are all tiny, but they will grow. Two varieties of yarrow, two varieties of lavender, delphinium, ornamental oregano, a beautiful salvia (sinaloa sage), and two tiny house plants to hang on our ladder. I can't wait to plant everything!


Graham was bored most of the time, but had a blast wandering through the fruit trees and playing in the car while Christian and a nursery employee strapped the barrels onto our car. Liam slept (strapped to a flat with a bungee cord...).






Success!

weekend fun 3:52

We decided to spend the day in the city, First we hit up an estate sale on Haight. Nothing interested us, but I thought about seeing if they'd sell me some of the moss-covered bricks piled in the yard. (I want to make a path in my vegetable garden.) On second thought, I called my mom and found out she had some brick pieces she could give us.

So we walked down the street a bit to the touristy part of Haight and had lunch. Graham waved at everyone working in the restaurant. Liam slept.



Then we hung out with Amy and Ivan and walked downtown with them to do some shopping at Zara. Liam cried, ate, then slept. And we found some cute stuff for Graham!

Graham slept through dinner and gelato (poor tired little guy). Liam hung out looking adorable on Amy's carpet.






A fun day, indeed. Thanks for hanging out with us, Amy, Ivan, Diego, and Luca!

(Amy--can you send me the pictures of the boys all sitting in the doorway?)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

a much better day

Yesterday:

* Showered.
* Watched Graham, Maisie, and Liam.
* Did laundry.
* Did dishes.
* Dusted.
* Swept.
* Organized.
* Spent lots of time developing a lesson plan.
* Cooked food for dinner.
* Ran around like a chicken with its head cut off.
* Felt like I didn't give enough attention to any of the kids.
* Taught my ESL class (first night back).
* Came home and cleaned some more (the more you do before bed, the less you'll have to do the next morning).
* Had a permanent back ache from about 2pm until I went to bed.

Today:

* Stayed in my pajamas.
* Watched Graham, Maisie, and Liam.
* Had a wonderful chat with the Jehovah's Witnesses who stopped by my door--I love respectful, heartfelt religious discussions.
* Spent the next half hour on a spiritual high.
* Read books with Maisie and Graham.
* Blew bubbles for ML and G.
* Hung out in the back yard with ML and G.
* Smothered G in kisses and hugs (and ML, too--couldn't leave her out).
* Coo-ed at Liam.
* Snuggled with Liam.
* Did some dishes and laundry.
* Whipped up a lesson plan for my class.
* Threw two yams in the oven and called them "dinner."
* Let Graham play in the shower with me while Christian watched the other kids.
* Taught my ESL class.
* Had a nice long chat on the phone with my dad about religion, memory, the etymology of words, playing sports, and getting older.
* Stayed up way to late just so I wouldn't have to move this warm little baby off my lap.

I think today was a much better day.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

4 weeks old

Liam was born 4 weeks ago, but it seems like he has been in our family forever. I love this little guy. It's awe inspiring to think that my body made him. I made him. How is that even possible?

Due to a combination time off when Liam was born and just not being put on the scheduled, Christian has spent the entire 4 weeks at home with us. It was a blessing since my recovery hit some road blocks and I needed him here with me. He goes back to work tomorrow. The timing is perfect since I am feeling quite good now. Even so, we'll miss having him home with us.

A couple weeks ago, we went down to Hollister to get some family photos by Sugar Plum Portraits. Denise is a long-time family friend (my friend Ryan's mom--if you don't know Ryan, you're missing out). She did such great job with the photos. Liam cried a lot and refused to do any of those cute naked newborn photos (he cried every time we unwrapped him), Graham hammed it up for the camera (meaning he did his silly scrunch-face smile half the time), and I was completely out of it with a lovely case of mastitis (I was shaking with chills by the end of the photo shoot). Regardless, she got amazing shots! That's talent.

I am swooning over every photo of our cute little boys. It makes me want to go wake them up and snuggle them!




I'm grateful for our little boys. Words can't explain how much we love them.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

super mom

Christian and I watch two other 1-year-olds throughout the week. Well, Christian usually watched them all. I was usually at work and just helped when I was home.

We don't always watch both kids on the same day, so it's usually just one extra little girl hanging out at our house. We love them. They are both almost the same age as Graham, so it's fun to see them playing (and growing up) together.

We took a 1-month break after Liam was born, and today was our first day back in the game. It was my trial run doing it alone with the new baby.

Turns out I'm fully capable of watching two 1-year-olds and a 4-week-old. Putting kids down for naps, feeding kids, changing poopy diapers (stiiiinky!), nursing a baby way more often than babies should nurse, chatting online (okay, I probably could have skipped that), comforting kids who fall and hit their heads, comforting the newborn when one of the older kids sits on his head. All that good stuff. And I kept our place relatively clean. Not bad.

I was feeling pretty proud of myself.

And then I remembered that lots of moms do this AND do things like go grocery shopping...and make dinner...and shower...and change out of their pajamas...

My ego is officially back down where it belongs. I'll have to work on those other things. Especially changing out of my pajamas.

Monday, January 10, 2011

gots to get me some swag

I noticed two hooks in the ceiling in the corner of my bedroom. That can only mean one thing:

I need a swag lamp.

Perhaps like this:


Or this:


Or this:


Although I think my lamp of choice would be a simple white milk glass lamp like this. Oh, so pretty.


Granted, that sounds expensive and hard to come by.

The lamp would hang over my mirror (which I am oh-so-close to finishing). I can picture it all in my head... I may never want to leave my room again.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

weekend fun 2:52

A trip to the mall may not sound like a special weekend outing, but we rarely go to the mall, so we allowed it to count as our fun activity. Our plan was to return a couple things, force me to walk a decent distance, and let Graham play in the kiddie play area. Since our days at home with a newborn have all blended into each other, it didn't really sink in that it was Saturday. The play area was ridiculous, so we skipped that part. Instead, Graham had a blast showing off his New Year's resolution: walking. He walked half the length of the mall on his own. Slowly, but surely. This kid is adorable.

more thoughts on the prolapse

I've been reading a website called Hab-It.com that addresses my prolapse problem. It's the same website that sells the pelvic floor exercise DVD (I'm anxiously awaiting its arrival). What I love about this site is that it highlights success stories and emphasizes exercise and movement. I've learned in the past week that my tendency is to sit around thinking that movement is going to make things worse (since too much activity makes me uncomfortable). This site encourages you to move--to strengthen your pelvic floor and core, to improve your posture, and to get out and walk. I'm definitely partial to this kind of advice.

I know that some of you were concerned that I was reading horror stories online and freaking out about it. I was actually looking for advice like this. I'm a positive thinker, but I'm also realistic and like to see all sides of things. I like to be well informed about all the possible outcomes, but don't you worry--I always search for the success stories. The problem was that at the time I wanted to find success stories that didn't involve effort. You know, the kind of thing that said, "Turns out my doctor was wrong and it wasn't really a problem!" Instead I learned that prolapse is usually a chronic problem that can be managed (and often quite well) with hard work and diligence.

While you all might think I'm this amazing exerciser (is that a word?), I know myself better. I'm quite the slacker. I can't tell you how many races I've run without actually training properly. I'm not being modest. I'm being realistic. Because I'm acutely aware of my slack-i-ness (once again, probably not a word), my worry is that I will slack off in my exercises and not ever work my way up to running comfortably again. I do believe that this is probably why a lot of runners stop running after a prolapse. Without hard work and proper training, running is bound to be quite uncomfortable.

That said, I am no longer planning to run the half marathon in April. Instead my goal will be the Lake Tahoe Half Marathon in September. That gives me 9 months to see what I can do. Bring it on, bladder.

{Also, just to clarify--the doctor I saw was not my doctor. I emailed my doctor for her opinion and am awaiting her response. Until then, my plan is to do pelvic floor exercises for the next 3 weeks until my 6-week check up. At that point I'll see if the exercises have resulted in improvement and ask her for her opinion. I will give an update then.}

Saturday, January 8, 2011

weekend fun 1:52

To kick off our 52 weekends of fun activities, we enjoyed a visit from my brother's family! It's a good thing they came to visit, because I still wasn't up for going on any outings. They brought us food, they snuggled with Liam, and they entertained Graham. Too bad they live 2 1/2 hours away! Otherwise we'd definitely hang out more often.

Oh, and we had a visit from a zombie, too.



I gave Christian a 2011 Fold-Your-Own Zombie Calendar. Quincee helped him put together this month's zombie. Hilarious.

(For some reason I didn't get any pictures of the cousins. Just the zombie.)

Friday, January 7, 2011

we need magnum



I went outside this morning and found a gift on our car. Who knew Santa came in January? I sure didn't.


What did Santa leave us? A stack of gift cards! A stack. We are still in shock.


We have our suspicions about who helped Santa. The cute handwriting, the wrapping paper, the box it was in. But we're not sure, so if Santa wants to be anonymous, we will let the big, jolly guy be anonymous.

And we will thank Santa on our blog.

Thank you, Santa! We're not sure why you made an appearance in January (Late Christmas? New baby? Christian's eternal job hunt? My awesome bladder? All of the above??), but you made our morning (and our month)!

Thank you!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

what next

More to come later on the lovely bladder issue. You guys have been great, and I'm feeling much better about the issue. In addition to the supportive comments on the blog, I received 4 phone calls, a link to a peer-reviewed medical article, advice from friends of friends who have had the same issue, and a plate of "happy baby, bad bladder" cookies. If that doesn't make you feel loved, I don't know what would.

In the meantime, let's take a look at my latest project. I've had this little project in my mind since I was pregnant with Graham.

I work best when I have a to-do list in front of me. I'm also constantly complaining about my messy home (which, by the way, has been quite tidy since we moved).

So why not have a to-do list that breaks tasks down into days and keeps me organized throughout the week?

Some cheap frames, some magnets, some glue, and...







One to-do list of what should be done daily and what should be done just on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, etc. You know, taking out the trash, watering plants, washing diapers, cleaning rooms, etc. This way I can do a few things every day instead of waiting until it all piles up (and we're out of diapers and my plants are dead).

And another, more general, space to keep track of things I want to do now and things I want to do eventually. Finishing my huge mirror frame is on the "now" list. I'm hoping to be able to post about that soon.

I write on the glass like a dry-erase board, adding things as needed. Tip: I like to use a fine-tip permanent marker. When you want to erase the permanent marker, just color over it with a dry-erase marker and wipe off. Easy as pie.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

when your insides fall out

Warning: This post talks about womanly parts and postpartum issues. If that makes you uncomfortable, feel free to stop reading now. If not, please read on.

This is a serious post about a topic that has caused me much grief in the brief 3 days I have known about it. I am on an emotional rollercoaster every day. I wouldn't normally post about something like this, but I want to educate others about these things, since I wish I had been more mentally prepared.

Three days ago I developed a cystocele. What's that? Well let me tell you since I'm learning all kinds of things about my body that I honestly wish I never had to learn.

"A cystocele occurs when the supportive tissue between a woman's bladder and vaginal wall weakens and stretches, allowing the bladder to bulge into the vagina." (Mayo Clinic)

In other words, your insides are threatening to fall out your va-jay-jay.

Lovely.

When I discovered my problem, I freaked out a little thinking my uterus was going to fall out (yes, this happens to people). When I went to the doctor later that day, I was relieved to hear that what I had discovered was my bladder wall and not my uterus, and she made it sound like it was no big deal. "Just do kegels and with time it will tighten back up." That was all she said about it. No big deal, right?

After doing my own research, I discovered this is hardly the case. I have yet to find one case online in which people just did kegels and the problem magically fixed itself. I've been reading through support groups online (the existence of which is the first indication that this is not "no big deal"), and for many people, the problem never fully goes away. Some people go to physical therapy. Some people opt for surgery. Most people end up adapting their lifestyles in order to avoid magnifying the problem.

Many avid runners never run again.

Let me repeat that: Many avid runners never run again.

I just about lose it every time I start to think too much about it. That's just a little too much to take in right now.

I may not be very good at expressing it here, but I feel like I'm going through a mourning process. I know there are worse things that could happen to me, but being active is a huge part of my life. It's what I look forward to. Running up a trail on a cool morning. Breathing the fresh air. Hearing the birds. Spotting a rabbit or deer as I run through Rancho San Antonio. Dodging salamanders on a wet morning on the Sawyer Camp Trail. Racking up mileage on the Los Gatos Trail. Breathing hard after a track workout. Not walking. Running.

The thought of not doing that any more tears me apart.

My babies are worth it, but it's a sacrifice I didn't know I might have to make.

I know there are much worse things that can happen in life. This is hardly life-threatening or anything to be depressed about, but it is certainly a speed bump for me. I will, of course, do everything I can to return to my previous lifestyle and not let this impede me. I already ordered a highly recommended pelvic floor physical therapy DVD. I'm trying to stay positive and only read posts by people who have worked hard and returned to their active lifestyles. But I still worry. I often have good intentions but fall short of my goals. Do I have what it takes to work through this? Am I patient enough to do months of physical therapy and slowly work my way up? Can I deal with the discomfort and get back into running?

I will try to be positive. I will put in the hard work. However, I'm realistic enough to know that only time will tell. Looks like I won't be running the US Half Marathon in April, but hopefully I'll be back in the game later this year. Wish me luck and tell me I can do it. I think I need all the encouragement I can get right now.