Sunday, May 31, 2009

This is the kind of night...

We're happily exhausted. We embraced the weekend with open arms ready to take what it was willing to give. A neighborhood BBQ and playdate on Friday night thoroughly exhausted Luke into Saturday morning. John woke early with Ellie letting me catch an extra hour of shut-eye and Luke popped up ready for the day around 7:30. We lazy-ed about in the morning, surprised my home-bound grandmother with lunch at noon, bought groceries and put the tired kids down for what ended up being almost 4 hours worth of napping. Happiness! Luke was of course ready to go somewhere the minute he woke up so off we went in the Bob Stroller, heading downtown we weren't sure where we'd end up eating dinner and soon found ourselves sitting on the point at Raul's. Luke was enthralled with the traffic. Buses and cop cars, big rigs and sports cars zipped past us as we noshed on homemade chips and spicy salsa.

Our shoulders relaxed, our kids are happy, and that sick tunnel that has traumatized for weeks is ending. We oohed at Ellie, wowed with Luke as he pointed at the moon and said "light on! Oh wow!" and we winked at each other. This is it. We're here.

Sunday morning saw us with another trip to the playground with another set of close friends. Four couples, 7 kids with 1 soon to join them in August. It was mayhem and laughter, time-outs and hugs, commiserating and sympathizing over pregnant bellies, surgeries, bedtimes, and even talk of the glories of vasectomies. Bah! The rain trickled and lunch was moved to a covered picnic table. Watermelon and strawberries, guacamole and chips, juice boxes and sandwiches were everywhere. We soon headed home, Luke and Ellie took another 3 hour long nap as we enjoyed the silence. We napped ourselves in the living room, covered in blankies on a windy day, falling asleep to a movie, it was bliss.

After dinner we decided to go for a family walk which took us along the bike trail to Freedom Park. Luke calls the playground the "wagon" and honestly we couldn't deny him a ride down the slide, or a push on the swing. He lights up at the sight of a "wagon". So through the wind with his nose running and eyes tearing up he ran. He ran and ran and slid and dug. The sandbox was his sanctuary and Ellie watched him so intently, so wanting to jump right in and dig alongside him.

Then it was late. 7pm and the tub and books awaited us. He fought us hard, no way was he leaving, but he did. And as we walked in the house, me holding Luke and John carrying Ellie I heard John say, "this is the kind of night where I wish I could call my dad..."

Ugh. You never know when it's gonna hit, but it hit and it felt like a ton of bricks. I told Luke we were gonna call heaven and he smiled as if he knew. And later, because I could, I called my mom.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The latest and greatest

Ellie has been sleeping through the night which is great, but she's also been throwing up for the better part of 2 months, which is awful. We've switched formulas, been on previcid and antibiotics and now axid. We were lucky enough to have a 3 week stretch of no vomiting, thought we were in the clear but alas no. I feel guilty for working, guilty for not pushing the nursing thing, guilty for not having an answer. But I like working and I have to work and I know deep down that it's not my fault, however, UGH, I just want her better. On the bright side she's not too poorly phased by the whole thing, at least this week she hasn't been. She smiles, she laughs, she sleeps.

Just look at her in all her cute glory.

Last week he got into the sunscreen and burned his eyes. This week I left the bag of Goldfish within reach, turned my back for a minute and this is what happens....

Luke is getting his adenoids out and tubes put in his ears in mid-June. He is also again on an antibiotic and he's also seemingly unphased by things. He's cranky one day, fine the next but thankfully sleeps like a rock every night surrounded by an arsenal of his favorite trucks. The sitter is helping to teach him sharing games and slowly he's learning about time-out. The bright side for him though is that he's really a little love muffin. He demands to give his sister good morning kisses and protects her as best he can, showers her with toys, and helps her with her bottle, it is undeniably precious.

We're seeing the light at the end of the newborn tunnel, but can't wait to be handsomely rewarded with healthy non-medicated children. The time will come when this will just be a blip on the radar and I'll be wishing these days back.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Two cars or a cell phone would have helped

I originally wrote this on May 6, 2009. I was going through old unpublished posts today and this just made me laugh and wonder why I never hit the "publish" button. Enjoy!

I got the call today. The mid-day call from the sitter, her voice a little tense, and very cautious. The one you dread.

Ellie was screaming in the background, she had just thrown up twice and the sitter was leaving in 20 minutes to pick up the big kids from elementary and middle school. Great. Okay, I frazzily left work, high-tailing it out of there to make it to the car and then to her house on time. We are a one car family and every morning we drive to the sitter, drop off the kids, and John and I park the car in a Travelers parking lot where we can leave the car there ticket-free all day. Today though, I had my annual appoint at the "lady doctor" at 8am. Great way to start your day, right? I should have known it was downhill from there. I decided to walk to the doctor as it would be easier and John would drive the kids and park the car in our usual spot. Alright so it was also "food day" at Travelers and he was in charge of supplying the coffee for his corporate kumbayah. Usually we park (hand gesturing) over here at Citizen's Bank, but of course today he parked way over there at Stewart's, cause well he had to get coffee. I was unaware of this.

I ran out of work, down the street, ran/walked some more and prayed that of course, the car would be where it usually is. Wrong! No car, and since we are the last people on the planet without a cell phone I had no way of calling him or the sitter. So as I stomped my feet in the parking lot I decided to run around the corner to the bank, his former place of employment and use one of their phones. I walked in anxious and sweaty, luckily they didn't have any customers but all three ladies wanted to chat. Talk? I have no time for talking! One offered to drive me home. Home? I need to get to my sick daughter, I don't need to go home and besides, I need a car with car seats and I need to get there in 5 minutes. In the end I made it, I got ahold of John and the sitter and I got both kids home without incident.

2010: We have now upgraded to an iPhone (thanks to Trampoline) and a usefully practical tracfone.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

She's the one*

Can we just hit the pause button? Those eyes leave me speechless.

*It is a wonder that I am in the field of graphic design. I have a great propensity for taking blurry unfocused pictures. Sigh. How did I make it through 3 semesters of photography with flying colors? I blame the camera.


Luke loves spinach and swiss cheese quiche. Loves it. I haven't made it in a few weeks so this morning I whipped up a batch in hopes that he'd gobble it up for lunch.

He also love avacadoes. In an average week he alone consumes about three. Hello high-end mature taste.

When he has had enough or just plain doesn't like something, he puts it on the table as noted here. The peaches and the quiche didn't make the cut today.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Embracing Moments

Time is ticking away, it marches on whether we want it to or not. Historically I have been one to always look back.

Remembering vacations gone by, family reunions listening to my aunts quip about their childhood, wanting to be back on our honeymoon, wishing I was 5 years old spending summer days riding around in our beat up Army green Chevy truck. The urge to want to go back, to relive those moments is so great that I forget *to live in the moment*. There are new memories to make, and my own husband and children to make them with.

It's time to embrace life. Really embrace it. My kids deserve all of me. John deserves all of me. He told me the other day that when I'm happy and skipping along the road of life he is too and lately there hasn't been much skipping. How sad. Instead I've been kicking and screaming and mourning what will never be and in the end I am wasting so much time. Precious, precious time.

I'm ruining the very moments that I'll want back someday. I am emotionally and physically carrying this baggage around and it's time to check it.

So in this spirit of the now let me tell you what's been going on in the Stevens household.

Ellie is sleeping through the night. Yes you read that right. After 6 months of trying to find our groove we finally found it!! 8pm is bedtime, 4:30 she needs her paci put back in her mouth and she's content until 7am. Glory be, she rocks my world.

Luke has an old (but new to him) swingset that he absolutely adores. He would swing morning, noon, and night if he could with a possible break every now and then to whirl down the twisty slide and climb the ladder. His smile and excitement are infectious.

Firetrucks that sound off "e-o, e-o, e-o" (Luke inspired sound effects) are lined up like a caravan most mornings. The hunt to find the fireman that drives the truck usually results in every toy strewn about the carpet.

He is in love with Richard Scarry books. Pure love, deep interest and total attention paid to every page.

He hates tubby-time but we're working on it.

I am incredibly lucky to be married to such an attentive and loving father. They bring him to tears with their antics and adorableness. He truly embraces and loves fatherhood. As patient as I am with him somedays, he is moreso with me and I am thankful for that.

I guess you have to waste time to realize what you are missing.

PS. I am promising myself that my posts from now on will be on the lighter side of life. My stars (Ellie and Luke) are dancing on the water that's bringing me back to life.

So damn easy to say that life's so hard
Everybody's got their share of battle scars
As for me I'd like to thank my lucky stars that
I'm alive and well

It'd be easy to add up all the pain
And all the dreams you've sat and watch go up in flames
Dwell on the wreckage as it smolders in the rain
But not me... I'm alive

And today you know that's good enough for me
Breathing in and out's a blessing can't you see
Today's the first day of the rest of my life
And I'm alive and well
I'm alive and well

Stars are dancin' on the water here tonight
It's good for the soul when there's not a soul in sight
This motor's caught its wind and brought me back to life
Now I'm alive and well

And today you know that's good enough for me
Breathing in and out's a blessing can't you see
Today's the first day of the rest of my life
Now I'm alive and well
Yeah I'm alive and well