Thursday, January 31, 2008

Most Meaningful Thoughts Ever

I frequently think of things worth recording in the busiest times of the day: meals and pre-nap. That's when I have my golden thoughts. Or when I'm driving in the car. Then when I have some time to myself I can't recall anything noteworthy--and by noteworthy I mean something that I would be interested in reading a year from now.

This morning we tried to get ourselves presentable and out of the house in time for Stella to go to her little preschool class. This did not happen. I was plagued by varying degrees of Urgent Needs and Unclothed Children and Poopy Diapers. These were staggered throughout a ninety minute period wherein I got no relief of any time to get myself dressed. All in a day's work.

We managed to get out of the house by nine. I called my friend Theresa and was lured, willingly, to her house where I learned that she makes breakfast almost every morning. And I mean eggs, pancakes and biscuits and gravy--not all on the same day, though. I partook of leftover biscuits and gravy and it was SO FREAKING GOOD. I inhaled it. Then we talked about being busy and nursing babies and I think I articulated the fact that I frequently don't eat enough throughout the day because I'm busy with children and this is why I currently weigh less than I did in high school. This might be desirable for some but it is probably the source of my constant fatigue, confusion and difficulty concentrating.

I'm trying to figure out how to organize my life so that I can wash, dry, fold and put away laundry all in the same day. I'm also trying to figure out how I can remember my shopping list at the grocery store. Oh, and how to enjoy life in the process.

Totally unrelated photos:

Stella has some tea.

How her toys look after she goes to bed.

Gianna meets Gracie.

Sweet, soulful eyes.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Reading My Own Archives

It's funny how much you forget from one child to the next--and not much time has lapsed. I was reading my own blog tonight trying to get a handle on when Stella started sleeping through the night. Unfortunately, I didn't write much. I shall now recall for posterity's sake.

She slept with us, quite accidentally and then habitually, until about nine months. I remember the night it started. She was less than two weeks old. I remember every time night approached I felt this slight fear of the unknown. The unknown of the first time parent.

One night I must've fallen asleep nursing Stella. I woke up about two a.m. and thought, "Where's the baby?" She was not in her little Co-Sleeper next to the bed. Then I realized she was asleep in my arms. So I rolled over and plopped her between us. And so it began. It made life easy.

Once she became a very active sleeper and none of us was getting much rest we decided to transition her to her crib. This was around October 2006. It was horrible. She would wake up after nursing to sleep and cry in her crib. It took much support from Jamie for me to allow her to cry for more than five minutes. I always thought I would be able to let my kid cry it out. But I couldn't. And I still can't. However, Stella did have to spend some time fussing. It probably took two weeks of bummer bed times but eventually she slept in her bed for a good twelve hours. I don't regret having her in our bed. It was a precious time. And it didn't spoil her as right this moment she is slumbering in her very own bed. (Well, her crib. Still.)

Gianna's been a thrasher since the early days. She had to be swaddled in order to sleep. Nice and tight. She's largely slept in the little Co-Sleeper next to the bed. Lately she's been sleeping next to me as I've been weaning her from her pacifier and this coupled with teething has caused her some sad restlessness. She's six months now and I anticipate the sleeping to only get better.

Am I tired? Sometimes. Mostly in the morning before coffee. But, honestly, I'm not often bedraggled. I take naps when the girls do--this helps. And I generally try to take things easy. There's always tomorrow. I don't feel a tremendous need to ALWAYS be on top of things. I like to be rested enough to be pleasant and able to handle the daily stress. But I think being a little tired is part of the sacrifice of parenting. And the rewards of parenting are so great that I can't imagine trading rest for children.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

While It's Winter Elsewhere

We're enjoying our summer. A recent visit to the Desert Botanical Gardens with Grandpa and the soon-to-be-gone Dotchie!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Let the Fun Begin

I just downloaded the software for our scanner. I have one word for you:



Esprit de Corps

A Variety of News of No Report

When a small child misses a nap buckle up because it's gonna be nasty.

Jamie and I are usually in agreement about parenting. I say this not because we have talks about it--because we don't really. We're both usually mild and understanding. Tonight was hell-bound because of a missed nap. It doesn't make for pleasant dinner tie, but it's possible to endure.

We don't yell, though we do get frustrated. We don't throw things, though we might want to. We endure. And then one of us usually quips, "My life!" This is a statement that can cover over a multitude of sins.

Someone hogging the coffee corner in the kitchen?

"My life!"

Someone being too slow out the door?

"My life!"

Someone crowding you at the sink?

"My life!"

You get it.

Stella was virtually inconsolable at dinner. She wanted peas. In a bowl. Now out of the bowl. Now milk. Not milk. Now water. Now a plate of food previously refused. Now put her shoe back on.

"My life!"

This is where the like-minded parenting works. We put up with a certain amount of fuss, but when things get excessive Jamie will pick her up remove her shoes and put her in her bed to settle down.

It's nice not to worry about someone being too severe with your child. I don't have to worry about Stella being belittled over a bad dinner. I don't have to worry that Jamie will overreact and throw something in frustration and wind up scaring her disproportionately. It's nice.

This is something good to think about when looking for a partner. Thankfully, I just lucked out because I wasn't with it enough to really consider these things very much.

While the dinner drama played out little Gianna ate her butternut squash and sweet potato mash. I'm thinking how funny it is that she gets to grow up with a chorus of Stella's fits in the background of everyday life. She's quite used to it. It doesn't really ruffle her feathers as long as you continue to shovel in the goods.

In addition to which Jamie will be planting some seeds. He's going to be growing some veggies. Five years ago Jamie was growing veggies and sweet peas at his parents house. When I asked him to bring me some of the flowers he agreed. The only contingency was that I couldn't think that he was, his words, "Pitching woo." Five years ago he had someone else that he was interested in. Five years ago I didn't care. But that's a whole other story...

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Results Are In

And things are normal for now. This is good. I can continue getting on with getting on. This is good news. An answer to my prayer.

In other news, we are settling into our post-holiday routine over here. This has been a killer week because Jamie has had parent/teacher conferences for four days in a row. This means very long days for me--oh, and for him, too. One day he left the house before seven and didn't get home until after six. It's days like these I think of my sweet college friend April, also know as Bliss Cake, who has been living this grueling schedule six days a week for more than a year while her husband gets another advanced degree.

There are large communities of women living in apartments or on-campus family housing while they raise the children of said advanced-degree-pursuers. Whenever I consider my position miserable I contemplate them and their position--their patience and perseverance in the long, cold winters of places like South Bend, Indiana and Chicago, Illinois. Little Bliss Cake will be welcoming their third child into their lives any day now.

I say all that not to call their positions miserable. Merely to remember the other ladies in the trenches. Women with husbands who are full-time students. For I shall be joining their ranks in the not-to-distant future. I also extend to them a warm welcome to come to the desert. We have a spare bedroom--for only a short time--feel free to come and nestle yourself in the warmth and go on some walks with us.

In the summer while I am holed-up in the AC down here in the desert I will read of your walks by Lake Michigan and cry tears into a little hanky by my bed. Then I will use some frequent flier miles and flee to the north and visit my dad on his little isle. I hope.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

This TIme Last Year

I have had this refrain trailing my thoughts frequently:

This time last year I did not know that I had cancer.

I cannot say that I didn't have cancer this time last year, only that I was unaware of its presence.

I had to have my tests, blood work and ultrasound, on Friday. I cannot say that I am awaiting the results without any fear. There is, of course, that thought in the back of my mind. What if?

What if I have another tumor? What if things are a little off?

I do not mean to be dramatic, but this is what resounds within me lately. So much so that the collision of my tests and Jamie's return to school forced me into prayerful repose on Sunday night. I had no other way of depositing my fear, sadness, grief, anticipation and thankfulness.

I am thankful for the cancer that was found. I'm thankful for Gianna, without whom we could possibly still be unaware of my tumor. I'm thankful that she survived my surgery last February. I'm thankful that my surgery in September showed no cancer in any of the biopsies or washings. I'm thankful that those who disagreed with my decision to keep my ovary expressed their opinion and have quietly supported me since then. I'm thankful that though they may think me naive they have not blatantly said so lately--as I am highly sensitive right now.

I'm worried. Almost more worried of the "I told you so" attitude that might prevail if anything is fishy. I'm worried that people will be angry with me for jeopardizing my family's happiness and relative calm.

But amidst all this I am also hopeful. Hopeful that all my worries and anxieties will return void.

Because this time last year I was anticipating the birth of a new child. A new Hanson was going to enter the ranks. This time last year I didn't have to think of childbearing as controversial or potentially harmful.

That said, I am thankful for 2007 and all that it revealed; physically, emotionally and relationally. I'm glad that Jamie and I survived and that we are stronger for it. But I am really hoping that everything comes back fine.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Learning Curve

Sometimes you master things easily. Sometimes there's a bit of a learning curve. Gianna seems to have fallen off the wagon. She can't figure this one out. Last week she had it down. This makes me laugh because she was so frustrated. I imagine her thinking, "What happened? I used to be able to do this."