Thursday, December 31, 2009
I learned how to put aside my own feelings and just be there for a friend. I learned how to stand up for myself. I learned how to live within my means and be (more or less) comfortable doing it. I learned to like onions and tomatoes. I learned to like meatloaf. I learned to be a little more patient. I learned that friendships come and go, and that's ok. I learned that its not about how many friends you have, but about the quality of those friendships. I learned how to get crayon off walls. I DID NOT learn how to get baby spit up out of clothes. I learned that my family is not lame and weird but cool and quirky.
I learned that you can meet the love of your life on vacation. In a bar. When you've had too much to drink.
I learned that I'm worthy of his love and I have a right to demand it. I learned how to clean out a refrigerator but not a microwave. I learned how to pack a Uhaul and move across state lines. 3 times. In two years.
I learned how to put chains on my car. I learned that I should not drive in snow even with four-wheel drive and chains.
I learned that life is hard and sometimes, that's just all there is to it. I learned that amongst the pain and darkness there is always a point of light. I learned that bad things happen for a reason. Even if I have to wait a loooooong time to figure out what that reason is. I learned that there are very few things in my life I would do differently because all those things are links in a chain that brought me to where I am today, and despite everything I complain about, I wouldn't change where I am now for a thousand better decisions in my past.
I learned how to plant a garden. I learned that I am a terrible gardener. I learned to have confidence in not only my appearance but who I am as a person. I learned to like myself.
I learned how to use Facebook, Myspace, Blogger and Google Reader. I learned countless different loan software tools and forgot them all. I learned how to file unemployment. I learned how to ask for help. I learned how to swallow my pride and ask for help. I learned how to use craigslist.
I learned how to give birth. I learned how to mourn the loss of an unborn child. I learned how to swaddle a baby. I learned how to breastfeed. I learned how to prepare a bottle of formula. I learned how to have compassion. I learned how to take a deep breath, or two, and enter a room with a smile. I learned that the world doesn't revolve around me. Not at all. I learned that's ok. I learned how to make Thanksgiving Dinner.
I learned how to parallel park.
I learned what I wanted to do with my life. I learned how to go back to college. I learned that I'm actually smart. I learned that (don't tell my parents) if I apply myself, I can actually be quite successful. I learned that doing a good job, sometimes, is as much for me as it is for my child(ren). I learned that I hated being a loan officer. I learned that I want to be a teacher.
I learned that life is full of ups and downs and that what is happening right now, and who you are right now, is rarely what will be happening and who you will be in the future. I learned that situations are often out of my control, but my reactions to those situations are not. I learned to be a best friend, a wife, a mother.
THis first decade of the 2000's was full of life! I entered as a 20 year old know-it-all and I'm leaving as a 30 year old know nothing. In looking back on the last decade it seems like there couldn't possibly be another decade of greater personal growth and change. While I would have thought of myself as an adult at 20, at 30, I know now that I had so far to go. I wonder if on New Year's Eve 2019, at 40 years old (gulp!) I'll look back at 30 year old me and realize that she knew nothing either.
Happy New Year, everyone! May 2010 bring you all you hope for.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
In other news, we got snow yesterday afternoon and evening. I watched the news at Noon and they mentioned that we might get a few snow flurries around town. Um yeah. They were way off base. It began at 2pm and kept up until about 4pm (giving us about an inch or so) when it tapered off. It began again at about 4:15 and dumped (well, Oregon-style dumped) about 4 inches. Needless to say, rush hour traffic was unpleasant. We had dinner plans with friends and it took us over an hour to get there. Normally a 10 minute drive. My car has all wheel drive and Morgan really is an excellent driver in the snow, but to me, it was a harrowing drive.
The snow appears to still be sticking around this morning but hopefully there is some improvment to the roads as I have to drive out to Aloha for my last day of work. Since the whole company will cease operations tomorrow, its really something I can't miss. I am, however, nervous. Last year when we had snow I had a four wheel drive SUV with chains and I STILL managed to spin out and break the chain. Even when other, non-four wheel drive, non-chained cars were doing just fine. Yeah, me and driving in the snow are not so good. So, wish me luck this morning. I just may need it!
Monday, December 28, 2009
Now, I'm trying to convince Morgan that we need to purge some of our hats. He's not convinced. What do you think?
*obligatory Christmas post coming soon. Just trying to compile all of the pictures.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Wyatt (taking off because he's not into pictures), Conor, Kellen, Amaiah (also, not happy about sitting for a picture), Ava and Holly
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Otherwise, baby sounds healthy and wonderful.
Anyway, hoping to hear the little whoosh, whoosh, whoosh this afternoon.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Its a Saturday afternoon. A mother and her son are sharing a dressing room at Target. Son is throwing clothes on the floor. Mother is annoyed but partially relieved that boy is not crawling out under the door, or worse, looking into another dressing room. Suddenly, son looks at mother quizzically...
Son: Mama, you stinky.
Mother: (frantically, because she knows other people in the dressing room can hear) WHAT? What are you talking about you silly baby? Mommy doesn't stink. Mommy took a shower this morning. Remember, you came into the bathroom 12 kajillion times?
Son: (looking at Mother like she's completely crazy) Nope. Mama STINKY! STINKY!
Mother: (resigned) Awesome.
Yeah, you can probably tell this is not the beginning of the world's worst play but what actually happened to me on Saturday afternoon. I came home and told Morgan about it and from what we can think of, we gather that he said that (not actually the first time I"ve taken off my clothes and had him call me stinky, by the way) because every time he has a poopy diaper we pull of his pants and say, "oh Conor, you're stinky". So maybe I was asking for it.
I was telling some girlfriends (also mom's) about this later that evening and we got to sharing these stories about the funny, embarrassing and downright mortifying things kids say. I'm sure every parent has more than a few but I thought I would share a couple with you.
My girlfriend was in her bedroom after just having gotten out of the shower. Her three year old came in, saw her naked and said "ugh! Mom that is DISGUSTING."
Another friend was preparing for Saturday's very party when her seven year old came in, saw her in just her Spanx (no bra, no dress, just the Spanx) and said "uh, Mom, that looks really bad on you".
What is with these kids? Don't they realize that we birthed them? Gave them life and love and, most importantly, toys? Seriously, where is the love?
Friday, December 11, 2009
Foolish, foolish me. There I go again thinking I can eat real food! About five minutes after I finished the pizza my throat began to hurt. While I haven't felt it during this pregnancy, I remember this as the beginning of some super fun heartburn. And right I was. Thank goodness I'm that old lady who carries Tums in her backpack. HA!
Anyway, the heartburn eventually subsided but the indegestion lingered all night long. I spent about an hour on the bathroom floor sometimes parying for vomit, sometimes taking deep, slow breaths to not vomit. I considered having Morgan rush me to the Emergency Room because I was sure I had some catastrophic illness or disease but then I remembered, oh hey! I'm pregnant. Right.
Eventually I was able to eat some saltines and then mashed potatoes and finally, some ice cream. Guess I'm cured.
But I tell you what, I will be so happy when this little munchkin decides to stop tearing up my insides.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
So many things are different about this pregnancy. One, I'm sick, well not like throwing up sick, but just generally feel like crap all the time. Basically I can eat toast with butter. Anything more than that gives me terrible indigestion and heart burn. The good news, I'm losing weight. The bad news, I'm losing my mind. Frankly, I'm tired of feeling sick. I'm tired of having to be upright all the time because laying down causes bad things to happen in my esophagus. Bleck...just...bleck.
Also, aside from the yucky feeling, I find that I often go "oh yeah, I'm pregnant". Its like I forget and then something reminds me. Very strange since when I was pregnant with Conor it was always on my mind. Maybe that's normal with second pregnancies. Poor second babies. They get the shaft right from the beginning.
I have my last final tomorrow at 10. Its in a class on American Constitutional History. Basically we review Supreme Court cases and their outcomes. I think I have to have 30 cases memorized. I've got 11 down. Yikes.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Again, I say. WAY TOO COLD. At least I've convinced Conor to wear his hood. :)
Good night. This pregnant lady needs her beauty sleep. After all, if I don't sleep, when will the zits have time to surface?
Monday, December 7, 2009
Another reason people tend to think Conor is older than his not-quite-two-years is because he is so dang smart. His vocabulary is light years beyond his peers. Most 18 month old children are expected to say about 20 words and 50 words by the time they are two. At Conor's 12 month checkup I counted 35 words. Honestly, trying to count all words he knows and says now would be like trying to count all the words I know. Hundreds. I mean, literally he speaks possibly SIX TIMES the amount of words that an average two year old does and he's still three months out from his 2nd birthday.
He knows EVERY SINGLE letter of the alphabet by sight and is getting really close to having all the vowel and consonant sounds down. Yes, he knows 26 letters and can tell you what two thirds of those letters "say". He can count all the way to 20 mostly unassisted but tends to get stuck on "5-teen". I think that is because its so darn cute that we all laugh when he says "5-teen" and then he figures why go on when everyone loves that number so much? Truthfully, I've seen kindergarteners who can't count to 15 and Conor is going past that before he's two.
But, back to the Christmas tree man. He thought Conor was 3 becacuse of how steady he is on his feet. And he is. I mean, he's been walking for just about a year now and has actually spent most of the last 5 months running. And while he loves to run, and jump and throw he does fall, sometimes at a rather alarming rate. This is probably not due to some latent neurological disorder as I sometime fear, but rather to his lack of watching where he is going. So anyway, the Christmas tree guy mentioned that Conor was a really great walker and really steady and just seemed older.
And I totally down played it. I have this AMAZING son and I DOWN PLAYED his accomplishments. What the hell is wrong with me? Morgan called me on it later (in a nice way) and I realized that he's totally right. And I really struggle with this for a number of reasons.
First of all, I HATE those people that talk, talk, talk and brag, brag, brag about their kids. You know, the ones in your office who talk about nothing but how great their kids are and how advanced and blah, blah, blah. Its on par with those people who always talk about how great they are and how they are so accomplished. It annoys me. Actually, it really, really annoys me. And so I don't do it with myself and I don't do it with my son. And while I know how proud I am of him, and while his many accomplishments are one of my greatest personal sources of pride, how will he know that if I don't either tell him or let him hear my praise to other people. Imagine if he was 8 and someone commented on how smart he is or what a great baseball player (or karate or soccer or cheerleader - kidding, Babe) he is and I say something like, "oh, he's not that great". At almost two, its pretty much a non-issue but as he gets older, this would be extremely hurtful to him. I would never do it to hurt him or because I don't actually believe with all my heart that its true, but I would do it so that people wouldn't think I'm "that Mom". The one who thinks her kid is the best, brightest. But wait, I DO think that. Because in my eyes, he IS the best and brightest.
So, that is my Mommy goal. To praise my son in private and in public and to say to hell with those people who think badly of me for thinking highly of my son. I would rather the whole world think of me as "that Mom" and have my son think of me as the best Mom than the other way around.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
I started the day with my dear friend Niki getting pedicures. Lately it seems that I haven't had much time to myself and I can't tell you how much that hour and a half recharged me. I need to remember to get out and do stuff like that more often. It really does make me a better wife and mother. And my toes look real pretty too!
After nap we went out and cut down our Christmas tree. Morgan normally likes to go up to Mt. Hood and cut one down but we just didn't seem to have time for that this year and opted to go to a lot out in West Linn. It was freaking freezing cold but beautiful and sunny so we got a few picures.
Family Self Portrait
We're kinda fuzzy but look at his cute little faceThe Subaru loaded down as God intended
The finished product. This picture really doesn't do it justice.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Yes, folks (folk?) that's Walsh Baby # 2. Due early July. We had a dr. appt. yesterday but its still too early to hear the heartbeat with the doppler so I'll go in again in a few weeks. This ultrasound was done about 3 weeks ago though and I heard the little whoosh, whoosh, whoosh then.
Every time we ask Conor if he wants to be a big brother, he responds with a very confident "no". The poor child has no idea how his life will change!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Seriously, here at Portland State I'm often not sure if someone is dressed in costume or if this is just how they normally dress. Is that what people thought of me 10 years ago? I'm trying to picture what I used to wear and, while my parents might disagree, I don't think I dressed like an insane 80's era clown. Here are a few sights I've encountered recently at good ol' PSU.
-4 (FOUR) pairs of leggings on 4 (FOUR) different sets of legs in 1 (ONE) day
- a woman's hairstyle where half her head was covered in inch long boy-type hair and the other half was covered in long, flowy, frizzy hair.
-Jeans tighter (on men and women) and legs skinnier than I thought possible outside of a first grade classroom.
Ok, I can't think of anymore now and I"m starting to get funny looks from the people I keep staring at trying to find more incredible fashion mishaps. Are they mishaps though? Is this one of those things where I'm just severely and permanently behind the times?
Apparently my liberal education come at a cost of liberal fashion choices.
And I swore I would never be this person...
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
And now...look how big!
Seriously, this kid will just not LISTEN. I keep telling him "no more growing!" but here we have photographic proof of his defiance. Next thing you know he'll be calling me mother and asking to do my taxes.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
So I took this great video of Conor in the bath last night picking out letters and telling me their sounds and he was so cute and so smart and, as luck would have it, being neither smart nor cute myself, I can't figure out how to get the video off my camera and on to my computer so i can upload it here. I TOLD you these posts would probably not be the most stimulating posts ever. But still...
I spent yesterday at New Urban High School out in Milwaukie. As part of my big Senior Capstone project I had to design a lesson plan and teach it, with three other team members, to language arts students for 5 periods. It was quite an experience. First of all, teaching is hard especially when you have to say, literally, the same thing over and over and over again. Second, no matter how revolutionary you think your lesson plan is, chances are a good 75% of the students will still look at you with the blank stare that is only achieved by high school students or stoners. In my first experience at teaching, I'm beginning to doubt my choice of vocations. This cannot be a good sign.
This is the last week in the term before finals next week. Keep your fingers crossed that I can get myself together enough to make it though. This term has been a giant energy drain and my goal of straight A's is looking more and more unrealistic.
Happy Day 1 everyone!
Monday, November 30, 2009
No, they may not be the most interesting or exciting posts ever, and many will likely be poorly written as I"m almost certain to be stuffing my face with Christmas cookies, but you will see one post every. single. day.
And yes, I know there are 31 days in December...whatever.
And so, for Conor's future girlfriend, Addison, a few pictures to whet your appetite. Lets see what the next few days will bring. Oh, and stay tuned for December 4th. Big news will be coming!
Friday, October 16, 2009
Breakfast – Usually a banana and 50 pcs of peanut butter toast (toaster is in cabinet beneath the coffee pot (more coffee is in the freezer)). Cut him off at some point because he will continue to eat toast forever. Also, milk.
Lunch – PB&J, Mac and Cheese, also there is some frozen broccoli/potato/cheese soup in the freezer (top shelf on top of the hot pocket box). Or whatever else sounds good.
Dinner – I bought all the stuff for popovers because I know Keenan likes them and Conor will eat them too, but feel free to cook whatever you feel like.
Bath – lots of bubbles. Also a rain slicker for yourself. A bath is not critical so if its too late or you don’t feel like it, that’s ok. It is however a great way to kill sometime before bed. I usually bring a book or a magazine. You know, because I like to be involved.
Nap time – usually put him down between noon and 1pm. He should sleep for two hours. He gets passie, bubba, a few stories, a song or two then in the crib. He should go right down. IF he wakes up before two hours have passed, go in, give passie back, roll on tummy, cover with bubba and leave. No talking or eye contact.
Snack – about 10am and when he wakes from nap. Crackers, raisins, string cheese, more toast if he wants it.
Bedtime – pretty much same routine as nap time just remember to turn on the heater in his room because it will go below 60 degrees in there and that is just too cold. Also, make sure he is in footie jammies to keep those toesies warm.
Coloring – he will want to color a lot but he has to be watched because, as you can see when you look around the house, he likes to color on walls, windows, furniture, etc. He gets one chance. If he colors on something that is not paper the second time, the crayons get put away. Paper for coloring is in the front of the top drawer of the file cabinet. He can color on the back of the paper that has already been used.
TV – he likes Super Why (8am, channel 10) and Sesame Street (9am, channel 10) also, Diego and Dora, but I don’t know where to find those shows. Also, there is an Elmo DVD in the player, just hit the “input” button on the side of the TV until you get to “component 2” and it should start playing. Not sure where the remote for the DVD player is so you have to use the buttons on the actual machine. I know, we live like animals.
Wild Life – Tucker gets one cup of food in the morning and one in the evening. His food is in the closet in his room. Luna gets food when her bowl is empty. It is under the utility sink. Carl gets one pinch of food when he looks hungry. He’s a very expressive fish.
STroller– the stroller is in the garage. There is a latch/hook thingy on the right side. Release it and pull the handle up and back towards yourself. It should unfold. Don’t even try to refold it. Just park it in the garage when you are done. It took me two weeks and special ops training to figure out how the get the damn thing to collapse enough to fit in the trunk of my car. He does need to be strapped in though or he will try to jump out. I suggest you bring some cars if you go for a run with him.
Bed - there are clean sheets on our bed or you can be like mom and sleep on the couch.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I started back to school about three weeks ago and Conor started full time (well, two full days a week) preschool. The first several times I dropped him off were challenging for both of us. He cried when I left, I cried to see him cry. Then I left the building and forgot all about him. Ok, that's not entirely true. I spent my whole first day back to school feeling nervous and I couldn't figure out why. sure, back to school nerves and all that, but I felt like I was waiting for something. Finally, I realized, as I clutched my phone in my hand, that I was waiting for Conor's school to call. Perhaps, subconsciously, I was waiting for them to let me know that he just couldn't bear it without me and that I should just come get him.
Of course that didn't happen because of course he loved it. He's got wonderful, amazing teachers who have more patience in their little fingers than I have in my whole body. They love the kids, the kids love them and the kids love each other. I don't think there are more than 12 kids enrolled in the whole class and not all children attend on the same days. Still, there are ALWAYS 4 teachers in the room. They are always sitting at the tables or playing on the floor or reading books. I was nervous dropping him off that first day feeling like he might get lost in the shuffle, but with so many adults in the room he's always got a friendly face to turn to.
Also, I made a bubba. I was so hesitant to carry his blanket back and forth to school each day in case we left it at home or (horror of horrors!) left it at school over the weekend. So, I made a new one with some fleece and some bright gingham edging. No, its not the same, and yes, he certainly knows the difference (his teacher tells me calls it blue and not bubba) but he naps at school (ON A COT--NO BARS!!!) and I don't have to worry about the bedtime panic of not having a bubba around for sleeping.
As for me, school seems, well, different this term. Last year, I was so driven to get straight A's and I did and it felt great, but so far this year, I barely think about it. I still do the reading and still do my homework but something has changed. I think its that I've decided to put off grad school for a while. And, having the best grades to get accepted, easily, into grad school was my driving motivation.
The decision to put off grad school, and by extension my teaching career, was not an easy decision to make. But, before I go off and spend $25,000 (yikes, what a number) on education I should probably make sure I can back that education/money up with a job. And frankly, teaching, in Oregon, blows right now. The Oregonian just had a front page article on the plight of teachers. Specifically it stated that in 2009, Oregon Universities graduated 2400 new teachers and of that number, on 60 received teaching positions. Bad news. Bad, bad, bad news. Many teachers had to move out of state (hey, I hear Arizona is hiring!) and those that didn't are either working at Starbucks or subbing when they can get the jobs. The thought of spending $25,000 on an education that doesn't have the positions available to graduates, well, it turns my stomach a bit.
Another reason...frankly, we can't handle another 2+ years with me not working. And that's being generous because it assumes that I could get a job right away, which, as stated previously, there are no jobs to be had. But then that leads me to the next question...what the heck am I supposed to do? The only thing I'm really qualified for is mortgage finance and...bleck. Not going back there. And, my undergrad degree in Social Science is not exactly a specialized degree. Social Science is my major so that I can go into grad school and teaching. It really doesn't lend itself to lucrative careers. So, I don't know what I'm going to do. Any suggestions? Seriously. Obviously, if you've managed to read this far, you can see I"m conflicted.
BUT! You don't come here to hear about me, you want to know about the baby. And by baby, I mean, giant 8 year old-ish man-child. We finally succumbed to those subtle and not-so-subtle comments and cut his beautiful curls off. Truthfully, he has my hair and all that means is that its just a big crazy mess. So, we plopped in his booster, gave him some crayons and raisins, and Morgan got to work. He really did a great job and Conor looks cuter than ever. Yes, the curls are gone, but in their place a child has grown and I look at him and I"m so surprised he's not a baby. Because he really ISN'T. He's a full on kid now. But, if I sneak into his room in the middle of the night (what, you did it with your kids too, don't deny it) I can still pick him up and rock him and kiss his sweet, soft, chubby cheeks again and again and again. Man, I love that kid.
Here are his most recent stats as of 18 months:
Weight: 29.00 lbs 90%
Height: 37.5 inches 100+%
Head: 49.0 cm 75%
So, the deal is, you're supposed to take your 24 month old's height, double it and that will give you their adult height (I don't buy it though--according to my 2 year old height, I was supposed to be 5'8". yeah right). So, if Conor keeps growing at the same rate he has been for the last 6 months (2.5 inches every three months. OUCH doesn't that hurt?) he'll be 43.5 inches tall on his 2nd birthday. Double that and you get 87 inches. Divide that by 12 and you get 7.25 feet tall.
Please, God, let him stop growing.
He's awake from his nap now, so no time for pictures. I'll try to get some new ones up soon. We went to the pumpkin patch last weekend and have a couple of cute ones.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
And, for your viewing pleasure...
Monday, September 14, 2009
All and Sundry
Her son is just a couple days older or younger than Conor and in just about every post she writes I feel like she is looking inside my very head and speaking my words but doing it just so much more eloquently.
He was so mad because the trucks he has in his hands wouldn't fit into the box along with him. He kept telling me "stuck, stuck, help".