Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Random thoughts while walking

I told myself a while ago that if it broke 35 degrees outside, I would go walking. Well, it was about 41-42 degrees, so I figured I better get my fanny out there and hit the track.

While I was out there, some random thoughts came to me - they usually do while I am walking, especially when I am the only one out there. Here is what was running through my head today...
  1. Next time I go out walking, I better remember to charge my portable XM Radio receiver first thing in the morning. I didn't realize that it held a charge for so little time (I charged it last week - thought it might work more like a cell phone battery - NOT!). So, I walked with my earbuds in and no music. *roll eyes here* Well, it wasn't bad though...it was like my usual walks: quiet and peaceful. That is why I go out and walk the two miles anyway, right? Peace and quiet.
  2. Apparently the University cannot figure out how to drain the track properly - they put in an astro-turf section in a quarter of the field last summer and since then, the water pools everywhere. One of the drains is even half out of the ground. Can you say it was WET out there?!?!?! That's okay - I got my new walking sneakers dirty last week walking in the snow anyway - I figured the pools of water would wash some of that off (it did - smarty me!). So, you are probably asking: Did she play in the puddles???? You betcha!!! It was great - like I was playing mudpies in my old backyard when I was only 5 years old. Talk about getting back to nature... It was kinda neat, though, to watch the pools randomly streaming and pooling and streaming again in various spots of the track- random, yet calming to watch (minus the rocks of calm stream or a high waterfall).
  3. I think the loud, repeating quacking of the Canadian geese means, "You mean to tell me that freakin' beotch is out here walking and disturbing our meal again??" Every time I rounded the last quarter of the track, the huge flock (and I mean huge - like 50 of them!) of geese would start their loud, nasty quacking and would shift direction away from me. I think they were high-5'ing each other when they saw me leave the track. Better start wearing a cap outside or else I am going to get pelted when they fly off... EWWWWW!
  4. Two miles just doesn't take that long anymore - I am out of the building, walking over to the track, walking my two miles and back in forty-five minutes. Maybe, when it is not as wet outside, I might lengthen the walk to 2 1/2 or 3 miles...
  5. Sometimes, when trying to cross the street to get back to my side of the campus, people are actually willing to stop and let you cross. Usually, even though there are clearly marked cross-walks for the University population to cross at, the cars going flying by and rarely stop to let the pedestrians have the right of way (if they do, you usually get "the bird"). Some nice student did today for a change - which was nice, but I won't get used to it.
  6. Lastly, I realized that my fits of anxiety are starting to get a little less now... I have stayed consistently on .25 mg of Xanex at night ever since 1-2 weeks before my appointment with Dr. McC on February 15th and even with that low dose, I am constantly oversleeping my alarm in the morning (I can't tell you the last time I did that). When I do, I don't find myself freaking out like I was before - I just hop in the shower, get dressed, eat breakfast. If I am a few minutes late for work, no one asks "What happened? Why were you late?" Not sure why they would ask anyway, since no one ever shows up before 8:30 am except for me. I still am getting the achy-skin feelings toward the end of the day, but even that is subsiding some now and is not as frequent... If I keep this up, maybe - just maybe - I can start cutting back on the meds and consider those three little letters again (I mean TTC...shhhhh! Don't want to talk too soon!). We shall see... Maybe summertime might be a nice time to try...
Now, I have to see if I can manage to sneak out tomorrow when I am home and Chris is at nursery school.... HeeHee! Supposed to be a lovely one tomorrow and no way I am going to miss that!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Where is your "Safe Place"?

I finally started using a guided imagery CD last week - I am a little behind on getting to do this since Hubby was going to order the cd's I wanted as MP3's and put them on the iPod (uh, never ever leave this to the men!) ...But, of course, I am still waiting for that...

Anyways, on this particular CD is aimed at relieving anxiety and has three different exercises: one for general relaxation, one for calming the mind about specific life events that you still get upset about and the last for attaining qualities in yourself that you would like to either gain or enhance (still have to listen to this one). I have used the first exercise several times now - and the key goal is relaxing using the image (or images, if you have more than one) of a place you found the most peace in your life, the "safest place" you feel you can go to in your mind.

I suppose this is hard for some people to do - but my image came very quick. The pics below are not of the specific place, but they are very close to what I have in my mind and can remember from my time spent there:

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The place I picture the safest and calmest is from the family vacation home of a pal in college. It was located in a beautiful (and PRICEY) area of the NJ Shore and the reason we went there was not the most usual of circumstances...

When I was in my Junior and Senior years of college, the girls I had dormed with for two years and I rented a house about 2 blocks away from campus - it was a georgeous house (would have been even better if someone could have restored it to its glory days), in among the other college student houses and the "townies" (or, better put, the real residents of the town). We knew quite a few of the student houses on the block and the neighboring blocks (you get to know lots of people on the college party circuit!). Speficially, two houses down the hill from us, on the first of three floors of the house, were friends of ours - guys we partied with, were buddies with since Freshman year in our psych major (although not all of us were left as psych majors at that point).

In November 1994, seven months before graduation, I could see out the window of my evening class, which was held on Tuesday nights at 7:00 pm on the fifth floor of the main class building, the biggest blaze up in the hills of the campus - A bright red, orange and yellow blaze that lit up the entire view of the upper campus. The fire was located right where our house was! I raced from class, as did a classmate who lived on the same block as me, running into people telling me it was our house, telling her it was her house. I was in a panic - all of my things were on the third floor and I would have nothing left! When I approached where the blockades were, I had one hell of a time getting up to my house - finally, one of my housemates saw me and told the firemen I lived there, and they let me in. I was very relieved to find it was not, in fact, my house. But it was the house of our friends.

The bulk of the night was spent watching the firemen dowse our house and the house in between with water, as the wind carried the flames closer to them. We were told at one point to go into our houses and collect the things most dear to us, just in case the two houses went up with the one on fire. Up in the hills of campus, there was almost always a breeze unless it was in the middle of the summer, and this night was certainly not a calm one. We rushed in and were allowed about 20 minutes - I can't really remember now what I grabbed...maybe some pictures, my address book, some stuffies that Hubby had given to me, a change of clothes. All I know it was all in my back-pack. We were ordered out via the PA system and spent the rest of the evening standing, waiting, and watching our friends crying.

The placed burned to the ground. By midnight, the fire trucks started to pull away, the fire finally out and no longer risking igniting our house. We breathed a huge sigh of relief, but then realized our friends had no where to go. Some ended up staying with us, some left with other friends, some left the campus completely - but all were to come back the next day to start trying to sift through the ashes of what was left.

Our friend were able to salvage some things, but not much. Mostly larger items - things that were not water-logged or charred or stunk of fire. The girls on the two floors above them had nothing left. The entire third floor was gutted and only the charred framing remained. What our friends were able to salvage, we allowed them to keep in our house in the basement until they could find a place to go for the rest of the year. Some decided to go back into University housing - some re-grouped and found a new place to live. What a way to end your college career.

...Getting back to the pictures now, one of the guys had a family vacation home at the Jersey Shore. To thank my housemates and I for doing so much to help them - not just storage or housing wise, but emotionally too since we where there for them the entire time - we were invited to spend the weekend at the vacation home. They tried to make a public thank you via the media since the media descended upon the fire like, well, wildfire. Campus news made huge town news, after all. But the media didn't find the "thank you" newsworthy. So, they asked us to spend the weekend with them at the house, to thank us the best they could.

We went in April 1995 - it was one of those transitional weekends, where the days were warmer and clear, but the nights were colder and overcast. But, it was perfect - quiet, serene, desolate. The house was amazing - huge, comfortable, well kept, open and inviting. We spent the weekend talking, remincsing, horsing around, studying, partying (how could a weekend in college go without partying, right?).

I spent so many hours out on the beach that weekend - thinking about graduation, what I was going to do afterwards, what was going on with Hubby (at the time, we were not communicating well - what do you want for a long-distance relationship?), what was going to happen in my life.
I was out on the rocks, like you can see in the first picture, as the waves started to crash in. The sky was an amazing shade of pale baby blue, a few wind-swept clouds here and there. It was peaceful and amazing- and a place I long to go back to.

Unfortunately, we lost touch with the guys - which is a shame, since some of them live somewhat close by to myself and my bestest girlfriend from college. But, time and distance changes those college friendships and the ones you thought were close ones don't always end up being the ones that last in the end. I have never been to that house again - and, although I go to the Jersey shore every year for vacation with the family, 1) I have never since found a place as peaceful and beautiful at the beach as that weekend and 2) I have not been left alone long enough to have that feeling of serenity and calm return like that weekend. I know I could find that house if I tried, although I am sure the owners would not be happy with me knocking on their door!

But, at least I can still go there in my mind....and I have found a little peice of it again, to enjoy over and over and escape to when I need it...

Friday, February 23, 2007

The kindness of strangers

I will get to my Christopher Friday post later on today... But had to post this first because it was one of the most caring things that has happened to us in a while...and something worth sharing.

One of the things that has been "robbed" from me through trying to grieve my babies is a universal trust of others - as I have mentioned before, I had a pretty good amount of support after my November 2005 miscarriage, but after my March 2006 loss, that support was spread much thinner. Apparently I was a "pro" at miscarriage now and I didn't need as much support. But, I really can't fault anyone for that - it is hard enough for people to support you when they don't know what it is like to miscarry at all. But, it is even harder to support someone who now has the title "Habitual Aborter" medically assigned to them - most women don't get to have this title, just like most women don't have the title "infertile" (although, I get to have that one to - YEAH ME!). What do you say to someone when you have not idea what they are going through?

Through that experience, I have kind of shielded my real feelings from others in real life - I did not look for support when I needed it most, and I pushed others away when I should have reached out to them. But, how could I reach out to them when they just didn't seem to understand or care?

Do you remember my post from May 2006 called Caring from some obscure places? One of the students who worked for me in the summer of 2003 (before I got PG with Chris) as a program assistant called and left a message on our work answering machine wishing me a Happy Mother's Day, after I was virtually ignored by Hubby's family for the day. It was a show of caring that I never expected - and truly lifted my spirit at that time.

Well, something similar happened again yesterday....and from definitely an obscure place.

Hubby LOVES (and did I mention LOVES!!!!) professional wrestling. If he had had his way when he was young, he would have wrestled in school (but, because he mother didn't want to sign any form that required her to release liability from the school if he got injured/killed, he could not do what he really wanted)....and, now, that love could be turning into a potential career change (much more on that later - it is REALLY cool!). So, of course, he belongs to a few message boards about wrestling.

Yesterday, there was a lot of Britney Spears bashing going on across the wrestling boards (as I am sure it is going on all over the place). Now, Hubby and I are not fans of hers at all (although I will admit here that I have her first CD) - but, we do feel bad that she has messed her life so much (a life that has been blessed with so much potential), and that eventually, if she doesn't get the help she needs now, that the mayhem will be passed down to her children. Her children, after all, are the most important factors in all of this turmoil. She needs to face her demons and reclaim her life for her children.

Well, Hubby posted something similar in response to the posts he was seeing - he was tired of seeing a young child (and we say young child here because she never really had a childhood after striking it big!) bashed left and right, her privacy not being respected. He posted about how the children need to be the focus because there are some of us in this world who so long for a healthy child (or, another healthy child in our case) and how it just seems impossible for that to happen for us. It just breaks our hearts to see these children have to live such lives when there are people out there who would just love to show these children more: More love, more life, more understanding.

When he checked back on the boards a few hours later, he received the following response. He felt I needed to see it because he knows how cold I have become to trusting others and trusting in God for answers. I am stripping out all personal identifiers, of course, since Hubby does not know this woman nor her husband, which is the person to have sent Hubby's original post to this woman:
"Hi man,

My name is YYY and I am XXX's wife. I hope you don't mind my writing to you but he showed me your post and it really touched me.

I don't know if this will help but I wanted to tell you not to lose faith about having another child.

My mother was never supposed to have children due to several "female" conditions. And my father was almost completely sterile. They were married 8 years when they had me and when I was 2, they struggled in vain to have another child. My mom was totally heart broken. After several years, she came to terms with the fact that I'd be the only kid they'd have. But when I was 12 and she was 37, my brother was born.....not planned, not expected, but in God's perfect timing all the same.

My dad was 45 and joked he'd be ready to retire during my brother's senior year of High school. We always wondered why in the world that God spaced us out so far and didn't send my brother when my parents longed so much to have him.

In 1995, we found out. When my brother was 5, my dad had his first stroke...renal cancer and back surgery followed in addition to several mini strokes. My brother is 17 now and is 6'4 weighing in at 220. My dad is 6'7 and weighs 280 and confined to a wheelchair after becoming totally disabled in 1999. My brother came when he did because God knew what was down the road for our family. My brother helps around the house, picks Daddy up when he falls and helps him maneuver in and out of his chair.

I don't mean to bore you with my life story, but I just wanted you to know that God's answer to you may not be "no" but just "not yet".

Please tell your wife to have faith. My brother is proof that God hands you blessings when you least expect them.

You will be in our prayers and I wish you both the best.

Such a selfless message can mean so much. And, quite a lesson for me to see. I still have that little voice in the back of my head that says, "You need to be off these meds so you can try again." But, the more I hear those voices, the longer the road to actually coming off the meds seems. I know I have to totally put TTC on the back-burner and live in the now, feel better about myself, become whole again. But, it is so much easier said than done.

But, these messages - the ones that come without warning, without strings attached - are nice reminders of what I need to let go of...and put back into God's hands.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Resolving yesterday's pity party

Ah... It broke 35 degrees today (okay, better than that, it went up to about 46 degrees! Yeah!), so I was able to get out and walk again. Double Yeah!

Since my XM Radio was not charged enough to listen to music on my walk (gotta remember to do that in the mornings before I walk), I walked as I usually do - no music, just me and the track (minus the butterflies and adding the Canadian geese). It was nice to get out there again - even though I was getting my new sneakers kinda dirty with the melted snow and mud left from last week's "snow storm." Someone else apparently had the same idea as me - in certain spots, I was able to walk in someone else's show tracks through the snow patches. I walked my two miles, kinda sliding in some spots...thinking it would be rather amusing if I came back to my office from walking with a wet ass if I fell in the slop. Good thing I change before going out...

Anyways, before I digress any further, I had an hour to re-think and resolve my little pity party from yesterday's post (see Hosting yet another pity-party). I feel much better about it today - and here's why:

Sure, I feel cheated out of all the pink, frilly things that mothers get when they are expecting a girl. I would have loved receiving pink blankets, white tights with the lace booties, hair ribbons. I would have loved the girlie toys, like the strollers, the dolls.

But, way more than that, I feel cheated out of the love and lives my angel babies would have shared with me, with us as a family.

It is very important to distinguish the difference.

For the "stuff factor," I had a beautiful baby shower when I was expecting Chris - my FIL hand-made the characters standing around my chair (he made the scale-version of the nursery-rhymn characaters that were on the shower invitations), which now adorn the walls of Chris' room.

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My MIL crocheted a lovely blanket for the baby (who we did not yet know would be a boy), which Chris snuggles up to every night as he sleeps.

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There were at least 40 people there to share in my joys, fears, and excitements over our first baby. And, I received almost everything I needed to welcome him comfortably into this world. I did receive so many cute outfits - unisex, but cute none-the-less. I received so many cute toys, memory books, and the like. It was perfect.

So, I cannot sit here and whine the day away as everyone buys pink things for Suzi for her shower. It is not the stuff that matters....it is the life being brought into this world that is important. It is the babies who cannot be here with me that I miss, not the pink things I probably should have been folding in October 2006 when my baby girl would have been due.

Making that distinction is very important to me - it centers where my feelings sit right now.

I want another child - no matter boy or girl. I want another healthy to share our lives with, our love with. And, healing from my losses and my anxieties will be the only way I can finally try to make that happen.

...And, no longer hosting the pity parties is the first step.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Hosting yet another pity-party

Well, I found myself hosting another (private) pity-party last night... Kinda felt like an ass afterwards, but I am sure I am not the only one who would have thought the same way yesterday if it had come up.

We are prepping for Suzi's baby shower on March 3rd. She is having a baby girl - which is great, except that knowing this baby is going to be a girl is now bringing up the reminders of the baby I lost in March 2006... A baby girl.

My MIL was showing me last night all the things she bought for the baby so far: Daddy's Litle Girl bibs, pink receiving blankets, pink onesies, pink sleepers, and so on and so forth. All very precious and beautiful and perfect, except for one small detail...

....I should have been the recipient of such gifts in October 2006.

Selfish, no?

My last miscarriage is the only miscarriage where a gender was determined. Of course, Dr. W at the MFM clinic said that testing on the POC (products of conception) in early m/c's can be incorrect when it comes to finding out the gender because maternal blood, etc. can be mixed in from the d&c and can be misinturpretted as a "healthy female." But, I feel in my heart that the test was right and the baby I lost was in fact a healthy female.

I hate these reminders.... And hate even more that they have to come up when they shouldn't - Suzi's family after all, and good family. I should be happy.

But I am not happy. I am jealous. I want two children - one boy, one girl, if possible. And, the longer I wait to TTC again, the farther that idea of hopefully having another child (and maybe a girl) seems.

This is going to be a long 2 weeks until the shower is over...

** Sigh **

I gotta stop thinking this way...

Some more prayers needed...

I could use some prayers sent out to a few people I hold near and dear:

1. A friend of Hubby's from his prior job just had a son three weeks ago. The little boy has a heart condition where the heart cannot regulate the beat - so a pacemaker is going to be put in. Please send some prayers out to the little boy and his parents. They are great, great people.

2. A few of the ladies in my BG's could use some prayers right now, for various reasons.

One of them is a continuation from my post in early December (see "A request for prayers and information for an on-line friend"). She is getting conflicting information from two MFM doctors - one is more positive than the other. Please pray for the best possible outcome for the baby.

Another is having a very hard time with the aftermath of very hard to face issues from her childhood. It is all spilling over into her life now, and she could use the support. Please pray she has the strength and courage to face her fears and find who she needs to be.

The last is another BG member who TTC #2 now and is facing IF again. Please pray her journey to #2 is much shorter this time.

3. One of our close friends is going for her beta today - some of you know her from FF to, so please keep some positive thoughts and prayers going for her today.

Thanks everyone.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Christopher Fridays: Moving Beyond Kid Songs!

For this Christopher Friday, I have started making a list of all the songs Christopher can or wants to sing... This list is way beyond your average Laurie Berkner stuff (which he loves to sing in the back of the car) and the old children's standards.

Most of these songs were learned thanks to Uncle Rogie (Hubby's cousin, Chris' Godfather and #1 perverter/co-conspirator). Then again, maybe I should not have listened to so much music (and such a wide variety of it!) on my in to work when I was PG with him... Enjoy! The list will (unfortunately) keep growing...

My Sharona by The Knack

Iron Man by Iron Maiden

We've Got The Funk by Parliament/Funkadelic (Chris started singing this one because of the Honda Odessey commercials)

I Wanna Be Sedated by The Ramones

A lot of the songs by Il Divo

The Emperor's Theme from Star Wars (this is reference to post on Chris' Easy Button)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Homework assignment: Name Your "Failures"

"Failure is just the process we have to give our inner beings a way to tell us that we have reached a place of awareness and strength, where we are ready to move to a new level of our growth and our development."
This is the latest quote from my "For Women Who Do Too Much" calendar. And, well, it hits home right now for my latest homework assignment Dr. P gave me last night: Make a list of what I perceive as my "failures" or shortcomings in the various areas of my life: Family, friends, work, personally - and, come back with that list so we start going through it, one item at a time, to can analyze the items and help me to begin seeing that I have not failed at all.

I told him he was a very big meanie for giving me this assignment! This is going to be a tough one to deal with... It means really looking at how I think, why I think that way, and how to start learning to shut it off. I know I have to do this - I want to start overcoming my anxiety and moving on with my life. And, doing this is the only means of starting.

So, I am going to start my list here - a continuous log that I will add to when I think of the various ways I feel I have "failed" in my life, or shortchanged myself. What I am listing here are things that my logical brain knows I have not failed on, but my heart perceives them that way anyway. What I am listing are things that are way beyond my control, and my logical brain knows I could have never prevented...yet my heart is still bashing me on them. What I am listing are things I have been trying to let go, but my heart still wants me to churn over and over and over again.

Watch for changes often through my next appointment (March 8th) ....and eventually, how we manage to get my heart to be on the same page as my brain.

This is not going to a pretty post...

List as of 3/8:

Where I have failed myself on, personally:

  • Not being able to hold a pregnancy since having Chris
  • Not being able to get pregnant on my own, even before my pregnancy with Chris
  • Not being able to give Chris a sibling
  • Not being able to grieve my losses completely and finally move on
  • Not giving or being able to give myself adaquate time for things I enjoy, and to relax
  • Not being honest with myself (and others) about how I feel
  • Not being able to say "no" to things
Where I have failed Chris:
  • Missing precious time with Chris while I was trying to figure out what was wrong with me
  • Missing time with him while I have to work
  • Not taking joy in the little things he does when I was really feeling crappy
Where I have failed my Hubby:
  • Having to rely on him more to do the things around the house I should be able to do
  • Having to rely on him so much as I address my real issues
  • Not always being there for him when he has a bad day, or things have been on his mind
  • Not always enjoying the hobbies he is in to
Where I have failed my angel babies:
  • Not praying and hoping enough for them to stay with us
  • Not enjoying the small amount of time I had carrying them
Where I have failed my family:
  • Not being able to help my parents and IL's out as much as I want to
  • Missing neices'/nephews' birthdays
  • Not speaking to my brother
Where I have failed my friends:
  • Not always being there for them when they needed it most
  • Not always having the time to just go out and have fun
  • Having to rely on them to much to vent how I feel
Where I have failed my work:
  • Sometimes not being able to organize my tasks in an orderly fashion
  • Not always having my head in the right place while doing my job
  • Feeling like my bosses cannot rely on me right now to "fix" things that go wrong
Other, more general "failures":
  • Not always keeping the house as clean as I should
  • Not getting our bedroom finished, or our kitchen re-done

Monday, February 12, 2007

I love this time of year....

....and I don't mean because it's close to Valentine's Day. It is almost St. Patrick's Day!!!

Yes, I am one for wearin' o' the green in March, since I am partly (or mostly) Irish...along with English, French, Polish, Ukrainian and German. I love the music, the food (okay, some of it anyway!), the heritage -- all of it. That is my one big wish - to someday visit Ireland. Hope Hubby gets a new job soon so we can afford it!

So, right now, my CD changer in the car is loaded with Celtic music - and a CD of Laurie Berkner (Chris has to have an alternative for the longer drives, of course). My current fav is one I just picked up over the weekend:

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The CD I am hooked on is their new one: A New Journey.

Check then out here: http://www.celticwoman.com.

Can't wait for Valentine's Day to be celebrated and over - then we are on to corned beef, soda bread, Irish music and parades. I would add beer in there too, but I became somewhat allergic to alcohol after college and if I tried to drink it, I would be sick to my stomach right away. So, I will sip my watered-down Bailey's on March 15th (after the big parade!).

Friday, February 09, 2007

Christopher Fridays: First Day of School

Christopher will be attending his first day of school on Monday. Can you believe it! Where did my baby go?

I originally planned to start him in Nursery School in January - perfect timing because the kids would be coming back from the Christmas break and it sometimes takes them a few sessions to get back into the swing of it. But, then everything kinda imploded in December and those plans got scrapped.

I decided to revisit the idea for a few reasons: First, because my mom lives about a block away from the Nursery School I wanted to send him to and second, because he needed the child interaction to boost his speech and potty training (which, BTW, he did another poopie in the potty last night. Go, boy!).

So, we went to see the Lutheran Church Nursery School on Wednesday and I was quite impressed!

When we arrived, we were the first ones there to greet the teachers - it has flurried overnight, so the other kids were late. We were welcomed right away. When the other kids arrived, they all seemed so happy to be there - talking up a storm. The kids lined up and were led into the classroom. We followed behind.

Once the kids took their coats off and hung them up in their cubbies (assisted, of course), they went off for their play session.

The Nursery Room is HUGE! It is at least 3 times the size of the Pre-K room at my old grammar school. And, the room is CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN! The set-up is wonderful: Play area with toys galor, all organized in easy to grab and carry crates, and kitchen play stations. The circle-time rug where they do stories/structure time is beautiful - clean and well organized. The kid-size snack/craft tables are well worn, but clean and kept orderly. Each of the 8 kids has a cubby for their coats and supplies - including change of clothes, emergency kit with food enough for 24 hours, etc. Teacher's desk right at the door - although the teachers there never sat down. The supervision is close to what we do at home - except there are more teachers than just me.

We decided to stay the entire time - and, Chris went immediately off to play with the kids the second we got there! Now, of course, I was there the entire time...so, we will see what happens when he is left on Monday for his first official day. But, he loved it and the kids accepted him right away. He was an old pro within a few minutes.

He participated in story time, snack time, craft time (from which I got my first "Mommy! Look what I did! craft - a Valentine's Day sun visor). He even asked the teachers nicely for "More, please" at snack time.

The Nursery school is either M-W or M-W-F from 9:15-11:45 am. He will be attending M-W for this Spring, then M-W-F for the Fall and following Spring. He is the youngest in this class right now - and the teacher is taking him un-pottytrained now (as long as he is in pull-ups) because my mom lives down the street from the school. Now that he has been pooing on the potty, he has been doing pretty well with not doing it in his diaper, so we had him in pull-ups most of the day the past couple of days. I hope he will be really potty-trained by the fall.

What I especially liked about the Nursery School is that, because of the very small class size, she can work with him more on getting him used to the program, what he needs to do, and work on his speech. His speech has been a concern to us for a while now - he is talking and putting simple sentances together, but he is lazy with speech because, well, Nanny and Rocky get everything for him without him asking. They don't push him to ask for things - and this teacher, like I do, will. We already have seen an improvement in his speech - last night, he said to me "Pillow! I want it there!" and placed the pillow on top of another and "went to sleep." That was a brand new sentance - well structured and clear. I am very excited.

The other thing I am excited that Chris did was wear his backpack. We bought him a small Spiderman backpack because his old tote was dying - except he never wanted to wear it on his back. He had no point of reference as to why he would wear it. Once he saw the other kids with theirs on, he wanted his on. And, he wore it for line-up time, dismissal, all the way to the car. What a big boy!

I will be at work when he goes for his first official day at school - but, my mom promised to take pics. Will post the pics of my little School Boy on Monday!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Shopping Spree!!!

So, I went on a shopping spree on Saturday at the mall - and, all by myself!!! And, with no anxiety attacks!! I really feel like I have finally made a step in the right direction, considering the last time I went shopping at the mall on New Year's Eve Day, I was crying to Hubby in Sparro's.

Anyways, with my birthday money, I bought 3 pairs of pants (Khaki, black and green cargo's), three button down blouses with matching cami's and 2 sweaters - all for $200 (great sales!).

And, even better than what I bought... all of the pants were a....

Size 8!

I have probably gained a couple of pounds back after my anxiety-induced starve-fest of 2006, but not enough to not be able to fit into the "skinny" clothes I bought in the fall.

I am so excited! I think the last time I wore a Size 8, I was probably in grammar school!

Ah, a little success goes a long way!! Yeah!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Christopher Fridays: The Sleeping Tornado

This Christopher Friday comes from what was supposed to be last week's post, which had to be substituted for "The Gift?".

One would think that when people sleep, we are peaceful and restful, right?

....Not where the "S-men" are concerned!

The first couple of months of marriage were quite the challenge when it came to bed-time. As Hubby "peacefully" slept, I was usually poked, elbowed, or snored awake. Eventually I got used to it....or, if the night was particularly circus-like, I would poke Hubby back and make him sleep on the futon!

I often say that Chris is 93% Hubby and 7% me - But, in watching the progression of Chris's sleep patterns, the scale is tipping even further in Hubby's direction. Here are some pics to prove my case (Hubby is in some, but not all of these pics....and don't mind the bedroom decor. It is "Early American Rustic"...or, better yet, just never finished!):

This is from when Chris was only a few weeks old - talk about starting early:
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This is from Vacation 2004:
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This is from around Christmas 2004:
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This is from Easter 2005:
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This is from around Summer 2005:
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(Had to put a pic of his foot in - couldn't you just eat this up!)
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This is from around Summer 2006:
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These are from around Christmas 2006:
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Did you ever get the feeling you were outnumbered? I am beginning to wonder if maybe I am the one who needs her own room and have Chris and Hubby have the queen bed!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Brrrr... Baby, it's cold outside!!

As I have mentioned in a previous post, I have been reading the book:

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I am close to done with it...skipping over some of the chapters that don't apply to me (like menopause - at least I can say THAT is not in my immediate future!).

In my counseling session on Tuesday, I had mentioned to Dr. P how reading this book has giving me some tools to use to start reclaiming my life - things that he had suggested I try, but explained in a way that makes sense to me.

The most important technique I have learned about in this book is something I have been doing all along without being aware of it - Mindfulness.

Mindfulness or being mindful is being aware of your present moment. You are not judging, reflecting or thinking. You are simply observing the moment in which you find yourself. Moments are like a breath. Each breath is replaced by the next breath. You're there with no other purpose than being awake and aware of that moment. As John Kabit Zinn says reflecting on a Japanese mindfulness puzzle: "Wherever you go, there you are."

My daily walks - those two miles on the track, observing the butterflies dance and follow me... those two miles of releasing the daily tensions that I could not let go of - are what had helped me through my life until I stopped taking them when the weather got colder. My last walk was in very late November, after Thanksgiving, after the anniversary if my second miscarriage.

So, despite it only being 32 degrees this afternoon, I changed into my favorite, well-worn-out yoga pants and way-too-big long-sleeved t-shirt, bundled myself up in my scarf, gloves and coat, and headed out for that two mile walk (new PORTABLE XM Radio plugged in my ears).

Brrrr... Baby, it's cold outside!!

I was amazed at how peaceful it was - again. No one was on the track...except for me, the left-over patches of snow and the Canadian geese scrummaging for food. It was cloudy when I headed out for the walk - but, as I made my first turn, the sun peered through the fluffy snow-filled clouds, like the sun was only shining for me today. I felt like I did the first time I set out to walk - yet, still had the stamina for two miles. It was freshing and peaceful...it was something that was missing. It was brisk, but cleansing.

Funny thing about the Canadian geese is that they had fun watching me walk - and at one point, three of them decided to fly around and circle, like they were doing the dances my butterflies used to dance for me during the summer and fall. So, for them, I walked in the snow...like we did when we were children. It has been a long time since I have found snow to be fun.


Anyways, have to share some fun pics... These are of my new boots (this pair is in brown suede - I bought another pair in black too). One of the ladies I work with has termed these my "Hoochie Boots."

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Who knew I would be able to walk around in four inch platform boots without falling! I am in no way a fashion-plate, but since I have lost my 30+ pounds, I have been enjoying my new look (including newest hair-do, which I will post pics of this weekend!). I am enjoying buying some trendy items...and, weather-permitting, will be going on another shopping spree this weekend (on my own, since trips to the store by myself have been getting much easier) with my birthday money.

Watch out world, these boots are made for walkin'! Too bad I am just figuring out how to walk in them now...