Because I’m a Blog Slacker

September 18, 2008

You know the only problem with normal?  It’s boring.  It was kinda fun blogging about being in a hurricane, but now that things are back to normal, I have nothing to say.

Here’s a funny story.  On Friday as the hurricane was starting to blow in, PJ looks up at me and asks to use the potty.  Just like that.  I laughed out loud and informed him that he’d chosed a particularly bad time to decide to potty train, what with not being sure we’d have indoor plumbing in the morning.  And possibly because I didn’t respond to his cues when he was ready, he still hasn’t peed in the potty yet.  Sigh.  That’s about right.

I’m also getting a cold.  It’s not that bad yet, but I’ve been fighting it for three or four days already and it gets just a little worse each day.  M fought it for well over a week.  At least I wasn’t sick with it during the hurricane, though, like my dear husband.  Can you imagine waking up to whistling wind outside your window and driving rain…because you had to cough and couldn’t breathe?  Otherwise he would have slept right through it.  He’s definitely a trooper to deal with all that mess while feeling pretty awful.

BabyN turns one on Monday.  On Monday!  How is it even possible that he’s been here for a year already?  Naturally we still have presents to shop for and cake to buy.  And naturally there are still very few stores open around here where we can get presents and cake.  He may get one of his gifts as a little brother gift at his brother’s party in a few weeks.  Luckily he’s too young to care.

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Not About September 11th

September 11, 2008

I know today is a day for reflecting on patriotism and all that so many have sacrificed for our country, but for some reason I’m just not thinking much about that today.  In fact, it was only a few minutes ago that I realized the date.

Something has been far overshadowing this event around here, to the point that it hasn’t even been mentioned on the news today.  What’s that, you ask?  His name is Ike.

Aha.  Now you know my super-secret undisclosed location.  As if I hadn’t already given you enough hints…

Anyway, Ike is all you hear from everyone right now.  The entire area is preparing to either get the heck out of dodge or hunker down to ride through the worst he can send us.  M and I have been struggling with the decision of what to do and are still hesitant to make either choice.

You see, three years ago when another major hurricane had us in her sights, we did what the rest of the city (and the refugees from New Orleans) chose to do–we took off.  The drive out wasn’t too awful, just slow for the first little while.  We managed to spend the first night a bit farther inland with M’s brother and then sat in traffic for another couple of hours the next morning as we left for M’s parents’ place in the middle of nowhere west Texas.  Really, our trip went exceedingly well compared to the horror stories I heard from others.

It was the trip back that was horrific.  I was six months (or so) pregnant with PJ.  Everybody else had chosen the same time to head back into town, and most of them took the same route.  The main freeway was a parking lot for over 200 miles.  The cops had closed off almost every entrance or exit, so once you were on, you were stuck.  If you ran out of gas, tough luck.  Gotta pee?  Hope you like the side of the road.

We got lucky and made it off one exit so M could be sick.  The cops closed it while we were sitting on the side of the road just a few yards up.  Every entrance from there on was closed as well.  We were stuck on the access road, which was probably a blessing because it was moving.

The problem was that, like you’d expect from a pregnant woman, I had to pee.  I was also prone to bladder infections and really didn’t need to be holding my pee for long, but there was no way I was peeing on the side of the road.  We couldn’t find one stupid gas station or anything where we could stop and pee.  It was probably four hours before we found a place that was open.

Less than two weeks later, PJ was born.  You know the story about how he was early, blah blah blah.  Did the stress of the awful evacuation contribute?  Did I get a bladder infection that led to pre-term labor?  I’ll never know, but I have to wonder if the stupid hurricane (that ended up missing us, by the way) has some relationship to  PJ’s early birth.  Regardless, the two are connected in my mind.

As a result, I’m hesitant to put myself and my family through that kind of stress again.  We live pretty far inland and are not even being advised to think about evacuating.  The area school districts are still having school tomorrow, when the hurricane is scheduled to hit.  None of the area businesses are closing down, which also means that M will still have to work and won’t be able to evacuate with us if we choose to do so.

All of that also helps to convince me that perhaps the wiser choice this time is to stay put.  We’ll do what we can to prepare and then pray for peace with our decision.  It makes more sense to me than having me leave by myself with two fussy kids and a whiny dog to go sit on the freeways for endless hours while worrying about my husband who is stuck at home riding out a hurricane.  At least we’ll all be together riding out the hurricane.  Besides, I’ll be one of those “native” residents of coastal areas who brags about the time they rode out Hurricane Ike.

Of course, our plans are subject to change at any moment.  Should the schools close and M’s work advise evacuation (and give him tomorrow off), we’ll pack up and leave.  So if you don’t hear from me over the next few days, we’ve either lost power or are stuck on a freeway somewhere in Texas.  I’ll let you know how things go the first chance I get.  Oh, and if you’re the praying type, send a few prayers down here, will you?


Stuff’s Been Happening

September 1, 2008

I have SO much I need to post about that if I tried all at once, you guys would lose interest after the first hour of reading.  Never mind that I’d be ignoring my kids and husband the whole day, and a day off at that.  So I guess I’ll try the summary approach and then try to expand on what needs elaboration later.

Thursday: We went to PJ’s open house for MDO.  It went well, and I think PJ will enjoy it there.  He’s been talking about going to see “teecher” ever since.  While we were getting ready to leave for the open house, we got a call from the local elementary school to schedule an appointment for his special ed screening.  It was supposed to be on Friday morning (more about that in a minute).  Then once we got home from the open house, it was only a few minutes before PJ’s ECI teacher showed up.  We have now scheduled the rest of her visits until the one before his third birthday, when he will officially graduate from their program.  I’m glad they celebrate the graduation, even if it’s only because he’s too old to continue in the program.

Then Thursday afternoon, I got an e-mail from M that said very little, but the gist of it was that he had just been approved for a major promotion and raise.  Seriously, it’s like a 20% raise.  Considering he’s the youngest guy in his department and has only worked there three years, it’s a huge deal that he’s already supervising other employees.  Needless to say, we’ve been celebrating all weekend.

Friday: I got up really early to make the early appointment at the elementary school, but BabyN woke up inconsolable.  (He had done that once during the night, too.  We’re not sure what was wrong, but he was up screaming for a long time.)  While I was trying to comfort him, I realized I wasn’t feeling so hot either.  I ended up with some awful tummy issues all morning, much more than the typical nervous tummy.  I ended up calling and rescheduling the appointment when I realized I could only get out of bed enough to dash for the bathroom, much less get two kids up, dressed, and fed in addition to myself.  We’ll go back a week from today instead.

The rest of the day was spent recovering, including a long afternoon nap.  M was able to come home early, right after lunch, so I got a bit of a break to give my tummy time to recover.

Saturday: We spent most of the afternoon, right through naptime, at the eye doctor.  What should have been a simple appointment for both of us, just getting updated prescriptions for contacts, turned into something incredibly complicated.  We were both impressed with the doctor for being so thorough and explaning everything so well, but it made watching the kids kind of difficult.

Anyway, I am now supposed to wear my glasses for at least the next six months.  I have really dry eyes, which looks like contact overuse, even though I don’t wear contacts more than once or twice a week.  It’s a result of this weird droopy eyelid I’ve had since I was pregnant with BabyN.  Fortunately the eyelid isn’t any big deal–I had been wondering–just something cosmetic that a specialist could correct easily with a surgery (yuck!).  But I’m stuck with my glasses for six months and have to find a way to go back for another check-up before long.  Fun.

Saturday night, we had a friend from high school come hang out with us.  Both kids and the dog love her like one of their own, so it was a fun visit.  Her sister moved over here a month or so ago, about five minutes away from  us, so she has a good excuse to come hang out often.

Sunday: We slept late and then spent the afternoon running errands.  We had to get the stuff for PJ to be ready for school tomorrow.  His backpack is huge on him, and it’s the only small one we found.  We may keep looking for a while to see if we find something more appropriate, but he likes it just fine anyway.  He loves his Spiderman lunchbox, though.  He wants to carry it around like a purse.

And that brings us to today, hopefully a lazier day.  It seems like we’ve done more than just this, but I guess there was a lot of family time together too.  Hopefully I won’t go this long without blogging again, especially when there’s all this activity going on.  Tomorrow (with any luck) I’ll be able to tell you more about PJ’s school and maybe M’s promotion too.


The Freeway of Certain Death

August 18, 2008

*Note: Before I tell the following story, it’s important to know that I am not asking for pity or complaining in any way.  I just found the whole thing unusual and interesting to blog.

I had the strangest thing happen yesterday.  M and I were headed to run an errand in another part of town and had to take the freeway to get there.  We’d only been on the freeway a minute or two before I started to get terrified.  It was an awful feeling, like I was sure we were going to die.  I kept feeling the car slide off the side of the road as we went around curves or overpasses.  I had to keep my eyes closed, praying the whole time.

Normally freeways don’t bother me in the least.  I have a few weird irrational fears, but even they don’t instill this kind of terror in me.  I used to be a bit fearful of freeways back when I was learning to drive, but once I was driving them I was fine.  And I have never felt like I did yesterday when someone else was driving, especially M.  His driving is quite reasonable, just the right balance between cautious and aggressive, perfect for city driving.  I haven’t felt at all unsafe with him–well, since PJ was born, but that’s another story.

So I have no idea what happened yesterday, what could have caused that terror.  After suffering silently for quite some time, I finally let M know what was going on, even though I was embarrassed to admit it.  I wasn’t sure he understood the enormity of what I was feeling, but he kept mentioning it every so often while we were inside the store.

When we got back in the car, he told me about a time he had a similar fear about driving, one just as sudden and unexpected as mine.  Basically he had a strong urge not to drive anywhere that day.  He couldn’t avoid it, however, and ended up getting in an accident.  It was an accident caused by someone else that was completely unavoidable on his part and therefore was definitely not caused by that fear from earlier in the day.

Because of his own experience, M was not taking my irrational fear lightly.  We took a different route home that put us on the freeway about a third of the time.  I didn’t feel that awful feeling on the way home.  We’ll never know if what I felt was simply an irrational fear or if it may have been a premonition of something that never happened because of our precautions.

I think what strikes me most about the whole experience was how M reacted to it.  I was certain I was overreacting to the whole thing and tried to downplay it to him and let him know not to worry because I was coping with it.  He didn’t take my fear lightly, though.  He let me know it was okay to be feeling what I was feeling, even if it didn’t make any sense whatsoever.  He didn’t make me feel embarrassed about it at all; he was supportive to me instead.

I guess I should have expected as much from my awesome husband.  He loves me for all my crazy weirdness, not despite it, and I feel honored that he picked me to put up with instead of someone who doesn’t randomly flip out on him from time to time.


Living in the Moment

July 28, 2008

I am so happy, in that supreme blissful way.  I have a life to be envied, with two of the cutest boys ever and a husband who could be a model for all other men.

If you haven’t figured it out, I had a good weekend.  What did we do?  Nothing.  We bought groceries and chilled the rest of the weekend.  It was some awesome bonding time for all four of us and relaxed me enough that I feel prepared to take on the week ahead.

By the end of last week, I was starting to get annoyed with everyone.  PJ couldn’t do anything right, and M was irritating me at least once an hour (not that I let on).  I was worried that maybe things weren’t as perfect in my world as I’d assumed for the past few years.  I was letting insecurities in.

Then one weekend chock-full of quality time, and all is right in my world again.  It turns out that M really is as sweet and thoughtful as I remembered, and nothing can go wrong if he’s holding me.  My kids are hilarious and really pretty well-behaved, considering their ages.  (Well, PJ is.  BabyN is astoundingly obedient and easygoing.  Yeah, everyone should want this baby.)

So this morning I woke up content.  I always worry a little that this kind of happiness is an omen of bad luck in my future, but I’m not going to worry about that right now.  I’m planning to just let this happiness overwhelm me as I bask in it.  The future can take care of itself when it happens, but I won’t be able to get this moment of supreme bliss back.

So excuse me as I go enjoy my children, one of whom is walking around with a sock on his hand (“sock puppet”) and the other of whom is cooing at the top of his lungs (“ga ga googoo GA”).


A Hard Look at the American Economy

July 26, 2008

A few days ago, M and I were having a stimulating conversation about the episode of Blue’s Clues that was playing.  In particular, we were remarking how the price of gas on the show in Blue dollars was cheaper than normal dollars.

I laughed hard at M’s comment: “It’s sad when even the Blue dollar is stronger than the American dollar.”

So true.


Progress

July 3, 2008

BabyN is totally talking.  I decided that for sure this morning when he was babbling randomly–until the dog showed up.  He got really happy and repeated her name over and over.  I think he also says, “Dada” when he wants his dad and his brother’s nickname for him when he wants PJ.  I could also swear that he said “PJ” the other day when PJ was crying.

And now he’s trying to crawl.  He’s really doing a good job of army crawling around in a circle, and I suspect it won’t be long before he decides to get up on those knees and take off.

All of this is happening while he’s still fighting the cold, too.  Now it’s settled into his chest.  He sounds pretty bad even if he doesn’t act like he feels that awful.  I guess that means I’ll be spending my 4th making sure we don’t need to make a trip to the ER for breathing issues.  (Yes, I already called his doctor, and we all agreed he wasn’t bad enough to be seen.  I’m just hoping he stays that way.)

Other than that, there’s very little going on around here.

Oh!  That’s not all.  I can’t believe I forgot that M and I made yet another resolution to start working out again.  We’re going to make ourselves do some sort of video workout as soon as we put the boys to bed.  I hope we actually stick with it this time, since I’m feeling awfully fat these days.  I’m a full ten pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight now, which is a lot more than it sounds when you’re as small as I am.  Maybe getting a regular workout will help give me more energy, too.  I’m tired of being so tired all the time.  So wish us luck–and motivation–that we’ll actually stick to our plan this time.