Within Me Without Me

Thursday, July 27, 2006

My grandma passed away on Monday. She was my last surviving grandparent, at 89 years old. Longevity runs in our family - her father lived to be 103! (which means my mother will be around forever too!) She had been struggling for the past year or so, and took a turn for the worse in the last few months. She basically got tired. She knew she was dying, and seemed really at peace with it. It's strange to think that she's gone though, since she lived far away, and i only saw her about once or twice a year. Her name was Frances, and that is Sadie's middle name. i was so dissapointed because i had sent a big picture of sadie to my sister's house in san diego, with a note asking her to take it to grandma, so she could see her "namesake." the day that i got the news the she had passed, i got the picture back in the mail marked "undeliverable." i think i put the wrong address. so she never got to see sadie. but mom did tell me how pleased she was when she told her the name, so i guess it's a little consolation.

One of my favorite memories of my grandma is shopping with her. she loved to go christmas shopping with us on the day after thanksgiving, she she and grandpa and uncle bud would always come to houston on thanksgiving. i was always excited for this, because the stylish clothes that we wanted, mom didn't like, but grandma had great taste, and would buy them for us. looking back, i'm sure it wasn't just keen fashion sense, just willing indulgence. i remember picking out a stuffed animal with her once - she had me line up all the same bears and pick the one who looked the best, and wasn't "making a funny face." and once you look at them, they usually do look different, and you have to choose the one with the most friendly face!

Grandma always talked about her "cooking lady" on tv. every year at thanksgiving, she and mom would talk about the turkey dinner, and discuss how to cook the bird, as if they'd never done one before. Grandma would tell us what her "cooking lady" suggests regarding thawing out the bird, or cooking it breast up or down, or whether or not to baste. i'm pretty sure it got cooked the same way every year, but of course it was always necessary for she and mom to hash it all out the night before to make sure it got done right. and of course, grandma always made the gravy from scratch, with the drippings. we all know grandma made the best gravy, and we would all pay attention to this part, because it was her specialty.

grandma and grandpa (before he died 5 years ago) and uncle bud would come every year for thanksgiving. they had their same routine - get up in the morning and take a walk, come back and watch their news shows. we would put on the football games, and grandma would say how silly she thinks football players are, when they run straight ahead into the other team to get tackled, instead of run around them! 4 oclock was always happy hour, and grandma and grandpa would usually split a beer.

grandma also loved baseball, especially the dodgers. she would also say she hated the giants almost as much as she loved the dodgers! she had been a dodger fan since she was a little girl living in yakima washington, when they were the brooklyn dodgers. imagine her delight when they both ended up in los angeles!

grandma said all kinds of funny things that have become our family's inside jokes. she once asked katie, "katie, do you ever make garth (her husband) a pie? men like pies." so to this day, garth often tells katie, "you should make me a pie. men like pies." grandma also commented once, when noah was losing his teeth at around 8 years old, that "it's not fair that when kids loose their teeth, they look cute, but when old people loose their teeth they look terrible!" of course, she never lost any of her teeth - which she attributes to always using toothpicks all her life!!

there are so many memories i have of my grandma, and although we are glad she is at rest, with grandpa, and at peace she will be missed.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

the "Carrie wants" meme

i got this from kep's blog - enter your name + wants in google, and see what comes up. here are some good ones for mine...

Carrie wants...to take Doug to the hospital right away but he insists on securing the loan first. (episode of king of queens - love that show!!)

Carrie wants...to return to her childhood home in Bountiful, Texas (i wonder if it's anything like my childhood home of cypress, tx?)

Carrie wants...to feed the birds, so she takes her sandwich to them.

Carrie wants...roller blades more than anything, but her family cannot afford to buy her a pair. (that was me wanting liz claiborne purses and guess jeans...i'm glad my mother was sensible and frugal enough not to buy them for us!)

Carrie wants...what every liberated female character on the show is without-is a committed relationship with a wonderful man.(regarding the show sex and the city. i never watch it, but i do have what she wants with my wonderful hubby)

Carrie wants...to see pictures of you with your beautiful stretch marks (eeek!)

Carrie wants...to quit smoking (did that a long time ago, although i hate to admit that sometimes i miss it.)

Carrie wants...to be popular and doesnt want to be made fun of (about the movie Carrie) (although it sounds good to me too)

Carrie wants...us to go to the theatre (sounds great!)

Carrie wants...us to build a fort." "And you have to help" (even better!!)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I am nerdier than 5% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

wow, i never knew i was so cool! i think it really just has to do with the fact i know nothing about computer hardware.

and i don't despise nerds!! i know lots of nice ones. and i'm sure my dear husband will score higher on this test than me....

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

This is the sign i put on my door at the office whenever i'm pumping. i hear a lot of chuckles outside my door as people walk by!! i think the women get it, but the men are a little confused.

Please do not disturb!

i'm lucky that at my job, i have an office with a door, and it locks too. many women have to pump in the bathroom, or a storage closet or something. last time, i was in a field unit where i was out making home visits most of the day. so i was often pumping in parking lots and vacant parks, hunched over in my car covered with a baby blanket. ahh, the things we do for our kids.

in case anyone is interested, i don't have an electric pump like they recommend for daily pumping. mine is a manual, the Avent Isis pump. it works great, is very quiet, comes in a discreet lunch-box-looking case, and was less than $60, compared with $100-$200 for the electric ones. you can pass that info on to your pregnant friends, if they have to go back to work...and while i'm making recommendations, i would just like to get on my soap box and say that i can't tell you how strongly i feel about breastfeeding your babies!! aidan never had an ear infection, and truly has never been really sick, short of the sniffles a time or two. they have both gained weight marvelously. and gosh it's easy to pack up and go somewhere when you don't have to bring bottles, formula, bottled water, etc. not to mention my favorite thing about breastfeeding - I'VE ALREADY LOST ALL MY BABY WEIGHT AND SHE'S ONLY 7 WEEKS OLD!!!

of course i still have the c-section stomach "pooch", but the fat is dropping off. i do need to actually start excercising a little soon, to maximize the effects....my sister sent me a pilates dvd that i'm going to try.

so happy to not be pregnant anymore, so i can actually enjoy being active again!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

KEP had an interesting post on her blog today. it's something that jerry and i talk about a lot, regarding the two older boys. i swear, it's like pulling teeth to get them to read a book. i guess kep's post wasn't really about getting kids to read, more about what we should or shouldn't allow them to read. but one of the ways to motivate them to read is to let them read what they want. alec is now 15, and he has stuff that he has to read for school. he'll talk about how the book is really interesting, but we have to practically beg him to read. it's as if he figures if he pretends to really like reading, or at least has a good attitude about it, we won't be all over him to do it. noah on the other hand will react as if we're punishing him if we tell him to read for thirty minutes. he will sometimes even cry. he will go to his room to read, and will pop his head out every five minutes asking if it's time to stop yet. i've tried giving him interesting books, like star wars, hardy boys, etc. no go. even joke books or kids poetry books, like where the sidewalk ends or jack prelutsky, stuff i loved when i was a kid. no way. he's simply addicted to television, and i think the idea that he can imagine pictures in his head while he reads is not worth the effort for him. it's really sad. this is why he has difficulty expressing himself in full sentences that make sense, because he doesn't have the vocabulary that reading will give you. to him, life is scripted, but if he doesn't have the script in front of him, he struggles to speak intelligibly. i'm kind of at a loss as to what to do about this. i have however promised myself not to let aidan and sadie fall into that trap!!

by the way, the eci lady couldn't come for aidan's evaluation. she was running late, then went to a seminar, then was on vacation, etc etc. so we'll have to reschedule another time, but i have to build up some more vacation time to take so i can be home. frustrating. in the meantime, however, he is picking up more and more words. i think he may be catching up a little. he can now say hat, juice, shoes, and the first consonant of many other words. i just have to keep talking with him more, and creating opportunities for him to have to speak in order to get what he wants. and get cha cha to do the same. that's the tough part....

ok, enough procrastination. back to work.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Back at work, for good this time.....

I went to work for three days in the last week of June, then was home for the past two weeks. Today was my first real day back. i hate to say it, but it wasn't as bad as i anticipated. for some reason, i feel guilty saying that. i wouldn't want Sadie to think that i don't feel as bad leaving her at home as I did when I left Aidan for the first time!! I think i just feel more at ease. They're at home with Cha Cha, and I have nothing to worry about with either of them. I loved being home with them, although it's a lot of work! just the few trips i made with the two of them to Walmart and the post office were a little chaotic. I guess another difference is that this time around, i'm not returning to a job that i'm already burnt out on. HR is pretty cool.

Anyway, my first day back is done, and it's time to go home to the kiddos!!

stay tuned for an up and coming post about pumping at work!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

had a great week!

we popped fireworks at a friends house for the 4th of july. aidan had a great time playing with sparklers. if i knew how to put a video taken with our digital camera here on the blog, i'd post it so you could all see how darn cute he was with the sparklers. but here's a still shot anyway.

on wednesday, i drove up to cypress to visit katie and mom. i stayed for two nights - the first time i stayed over in a long time, but it really was nice to spend that much time. aidan and lucy (katie's daughter who is now 1) were really cute playing together. they kept pointing at each other and smiling and grabbing each other's heads and hands. very funny.

bed time was crazy. three screaming tired kids in an unfamiliar home trying to go to sleep is a difficult thing to face. i think i finally got both aidan and sadie asleep about 1:30 wednesday night, after much crying and tossing and turning. thursday was a little better.

on wednesday, we went to this place called the ruckus room, which is a big open building with four rooms that each have a couple of inflated jumper things, and/or climbing toys, bridges, and other outdoor playground equipment. the rooms are divided int o age groups, to make sure the little kids can play together safely without being run over by older kids. aidan had the best time, and even played without me in his eyesight for a while - big step!! here are some pics from the place.

stayed at mom's till friday, then came home. it was a nice visit.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

so this coming week, cha cha will be gone on vacation, so i am staying home all week with the two babies! i'm excited and a little worried - she has been such a help while i've been recovering, but i'll get to see how well i handle these two on my own. i'm planning on taking at least one trip to cypress to hang out with katie, so that will be interesting - hopefully a sleepy car ride, not a crying one!

so the early childhood intervention people are coming out tomorrow for an initial interview for aidan. actually, it's just paperwork, and the actual assessment won't be until later, to see if he qualifies with a speech disorder. so all it means for tomorrow is that i need to have the house clean before 10:30 am. and i should probably be up and showered, too. yesterday i didn't have a chance to shower until 1 pm, and even then, i had to leave sadie in the basinet not fully asleep, so (as expected) she started crying 5 minutes into my shower. i try to put them both to sleep at the same time if i can, to give me a little window of freedom. surprisingly, aidan slept right through her screaming. i guess he was pretty beat. he stayed up late with his brothers the night before.

anyway, i really wish aidan would start talking. i think he would be a lot less frustrated being able to express himself. as it is, he cries and whines a whole lot, which gets really hard to handle. jerry more than me - it drives him crazy. i think it will help with cha cha gone for this week - he is rather spoiled with her. she won't force him to talk, and i'm going to try to this week. we'll see how it goes.