Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Snow Shots 2



300th Post!

It's still snowing! We got easily another 2 inches (on top of the 12" we already had on the ground) and it's still coming down. Chris went to the store yesterday to pick up milk and they were out of our organic 2%. He had to get fat free instead! I'm not sure what we're going to do for Christmas dinner, but it looks like we'll have to head out to QFC with our toboggan.

Monday, December 22, 2008

'tis the season

So here's how it's going: for the past 2 days we've been snowed in, our modem broke a few days ago and Comcast can't come out to fix it until the 28th, our Christmas trip to Death Valley was canceled because of the weather (we were supposed to be on a plane right now!), and last night a pipe broke which flooded part of the basement. Today we haven't been able to use our water and now a bunch of our newly remodeled wall is cut out which leaves us with another big house project and a big mess to clean up. On the plus side the sledding is outstanding and our neighbors were kind enough to lend us one of their extra modems so at least we're connected to the world again.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow Shots

If anyone happens to find one of Ember's pink leather slipper shoes between here and the Greatful Bread, just drop it by! It must have slipped off on our walk.

Forcasting

Here's what I just read on the weather report: "Thundersnow is also possible." Huh?!@# Whatever that is, it doesn't sound good.

Snow Day!

The promised snow finally arrived! I had to laugh yesterday when most of the local school districts canceled school for what turned out to be a relatively mild overcast day. Of course, they're all out again today, but this time for good reason. After wrestling the boys into a hodge-podge of winter weather gear and stuffing Ember into the front pack with several layers of fleece on, I did manage to take the boys out for a little sledding on our toboggan. Now we're warming up with some hot cocoa and it's beginning to get that relaxing feel of a real snow day. Ahhhh, yes.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

No Snow

Well, our arctic blast is here, but where's all the promised snow? Today I was actually looking forward to a real snow day - mostly so I could get a free pass on the stressful morning rush routine. But no snow. Maybe later?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Winter Day

Well, here we are at the end of another weekend and I'm exhausted. This Christmas season is really kicking my butt. And today after waking to a winter white snowy morning all I wanted to do was get comfortable and read my book in peace. Instead the boys went out and back in and out and in and needed constant changes of clothes and this and that and a new pair of socks and these mittens don't work and ... well, you get the picture. It was beautiful last night when the snow fell. Here's a shot that Chris took from our bedroom window.


And here's Yogi helping Ember stand up. He was really concentrating.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Social Security: Round #2

Good news: I went back to the social security office today and presented the situation again and this time the guy looked at the documents, did a few taps on the keyboard, and told me I could expect the card within 10 days! I did question him about the response I got from the lady last week and he told me that she was in training and hadn't encountered a foreign adoption before and he apologized for the inconvenience. So it all worked out. Victory at last!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ember Stands

As soon as Ember learned to crawl she started pulling herself up to a standing position which she does constantly now. Her only problem is that I think she's afraid to let go and sit back down. She starts off super happy, squawking loudly and then eventually she sounds upset and finally starts to cry until someone helps her sit down. She's also learned that whenever anyone says "hi" or "bye-bye" she waves. And sometimes she just waves if she enters a room and she sees someone she likes. It is so adorable! I swear it sounds like she's trying to say "hi" herself. It sounds more like "AH!" and she does it in greeting with her wave or if someone says it to her.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Video Art


This video art production at the Frye Art museum captured Beck's imagination last weekend. It featured a woman very gently letting porcelain dishes fall off of tables and then crashing to the floor.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Mini Business Cards

Before I forget, my mini photo / business cards came back from Moo.com and I JUST LOVE THEM! I also bought the little key chain holder so I always have them on hand. The paper is sturdy and they have a nice matte finish. They really are sweet!

Ember

and Grampa T

Predictable, but Annoying

Yesterday I went to the social security office to apply for Ember's social security card. I had all of our paperwork there including her new birth certificate, our adoption decree, and her permanent resident card which we received shortly after we returned from Ethiopia. Everything was going fine until the lady looked at the permanent resident card and told me she couldn't process our application because the name on the permanent resident card doesn't match the name on the birth certificate.

Well, of course it doesn't! When we were in Ethiopia we were told what name to use for her: the Ethiopian given name + the adoptive father's full name which is not what we wanted to name her! Anyway, the social security office said that I'd have to go back to the immigration office and get her permanent resident card changed first.

I called them today and it's a long and complicated process involving forms and a written statement and 6 more months. What I don't understand is how confused everyone seems about it. Surely they've seen this before. Don't all families adopting from Ethiopia go through this? They must since the adoptive family really doesn't have a say in the immigration paperwork you fill out when you're there. Why didn't our agency tell us this would be an issue? For now I've written to our state immigration office and am waiting for a response.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ember Update

We received Ember's new birth certificate in the mail yesterday so our next step is to get her social security number. And once we have that we can take those two documents plus our Decree of Adoption and then apply for her citizenship. That will feel like a big day!

Other news is that her first tooth is just breaking through her gums. This explains some very unusual behavior over Thanksgiving weekend. We actually took her to an urgent care clinic because she had several outbursts of screaming, wasn't sleeping well, and just not acting like her usual happy self. I thought she might have an ear infection, but the doctor couldn't find anything wrong with her and suggested she might be teething. He was right!

She has also begun to pull herself up to a standing position so I can see that very soon we'll have a little cruiser on our hands.

I know it sounds corny to say it, but I feel like I love her more and more all the time. I keep asking myself, Did I feel like this with the boys? Did my attachment grow stronger over time? To be honest, I don't remember. And it's not that I didn't love Ember and want to care for her and protect her and cuddle her from the start, it's just that I feel even more of that now. And more of something that I really can't find the words for, something deep down and basic and wonderful. She's my baby girl!

Star Wars and Preschoolers

Overheard while the boys played with their Star Wars figures this morning:

Yogi (as Storm Trooper): Han Solo is coming over for a playdate...

Beck (as Darth Vader): Maybe he could have a sleep over!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sometimes Cute, Always Charming

Today I spent an hour or so at the University Book Store browsing through art and office supplies as presents for the kids when I came upon this book:There are such darling projects in it! I really had to resist buying it. But when I got home I did a search of Zakka on the internet and found this fun blog with lots and lots of project ideas. Looks like so much fun. In case you were wondering, here's an explanation of what Zakka is. The term refers to everything and anything that improves your home, life and outlook. You can't beat that!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving

Well, we made it through Thanksgiving. I think I ate the last of the stuffing this afternoon and all of our guests left yesterday. I thought the food from Metropolitan Market was quite tasty and my only complaint was that it took over an hour to heat up the sides which were supposed to take only 20 minutes. I'm happy our families could be here to share the meal.

One of my favorite parts was taking a few walks. A cold wind was blowing so we bundled Ember up and she looked so cute!

School Zoo

The other day another mom was telling me how she had to laugh every time she drove by the local school during recess time. She said that the school has only dirt and pavement for the kids to play on and that she always sees the students walking the chain link boundary of the school grounds and pulling in leaves from the bushes on the other side - bushes growing outside the boundaries of the school. "The kids look just like animals in a zoo!" she said. She has one child in the school already and will send her other to the same school next year.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Beck and Ember


Here's Beck feeding Ember. I think his fondness for her is so sweet. He's always got his eye out for her, gently takes away inappropriate toys (or his toys!) and gives her a basket of baby toys instead. He asks to feed her, to push her stroller, to have her in his bed. I wonder what it is about this kind of sibling relationship where the oldest is especially close to the youngest. I had this kind of closeness with my oldest sister too.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Yogi and the Feast

This morning I reminded the boys that today was the "Thanksgiving Feast" celebration with their preschool. And then Yogi turned to me and said this:

Yogi: Good, do you have a big pot?
Me: A pot? No...?? Why do I need a pot? I made cookies to share.
Yogi: You need a big pot to hang over the fire.

I guess this tells us what he thinks of when he hears "feast"!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

At the Park


Firsts and Lasts

First Christmas tree sighting during my evening walk.

Last leaf raking in the front yard from the magnolia tree.

Last use of our high chair. We retired it to streamline things. Ember is perfectly able to sit up to the table buckled into one out our Svan chairs without the tray. She seems to really enjoy being part of the group and getting bits of food from our dinner. For some reason she always giggles heartily when we say grace.

First time I've ever ordered Thanksgiving dinner - from Metropolitan Market. We'll have 14 people and one baby here and I just didn't think I could pull it off otherwise. And to be honest, I've never done a turkey on my own before so it seems a little daunting.

The last of the fall color is gone now. We're back to skeletal trees and the molasses brown colors of winter.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Playdate


Last night we had a monster play date here: 4 preschool aged boys, 1 toddler boy, 2 girl babies, 3 moms, 1 babysitter. I think it's interesting to observe how crazy they are at the start of the date and by the end they settle in together and seem to be more comfortable exploring toys individually or working together on a common theme. The last time they all got together they wound up with a "mining adventure" wearing hard hats and carrying flashlights in the dark space under a staircase. This time they all ended up on the top bunk playing fishing - and then scuba rescue. It was very cute.

Parenting

Thank you, sisters, for all the good advice. Yesterday I observed carefully what was going on between the boys and yes, I think they need training. I've also looked up the Siblings Without Rivalry book and there is a LONG wait list so I think I might buy a copy. (Obviously, a lot of parents out there are dealing with the same issues! :) And if there is one thing that makes me nervous about homeschooling, this is it. I think I will go crazy if we can't make some progress on the home fights. But we will, right?!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fighting Boys

It's been tough around here lately. I'm not sure why, but the boys are fighting a lot these days. I just finished the Positive Discipline parenting class and I can tell you that I'm getting really tired of problem solving around these sibling fights. Now I'm trying the love and logic method of letting them fight and work it out for themselves AWAY FROM ME, but they're still coming to me, usually crying and blaming the other, to work it out. And so today I told them they had to go outside to fight. It's cold out so they "worked it out" pretty quickly. But overall I don't feel like I was very successful and I'm exhausted by it which isn't a good sign. Ok, enough whining.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Just for Fun!

I saw these sites listed in our weekly news magazine, The Week. The tests were quick and the results were fun. Start with Youjustgetme. You don't need to log in or join anything for this one and after just 40 questions it rates your personality in several categories.

Sanityscore was more serious, had more questions and you do have to set up an account, but I thought the assessment was right on.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ember on the move

Ember is really moving now! She is very happy to putt around the house and investigate all the stuff she can get her hands on which is anything up to about 12" off the floor. For some reason her favorite spots are the cold air returns. She pulls them right off the walls. We have plaster walls and since our house is about 50 years old the screw holes are worn out. Behind the vents are always a few dust bunnies since I don't normally have access there with the vacuum and as soon as Ember spots those little balls of dust fluff, she grabs them and gobbles them up. I've seen her go after the fluff that sticks to the bottom of the broom too. Really, she puts anything and everything into her mouth that she finds, it's just that seeing her down the dust balls is a little gross. Now I keep the vacuum out all the time to try and stay ahead of her.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mini Business Cards


Last week at the pool a woman, a children's photographer actually, handed me her business card. I wasn't interested in her photography services, but I LOVED her little card! It was tiny - only about 1" x 3" and had a photograph covering the front of the card and her contact info on the back. Well, I've been wanting to make a business card of my own since I was a kid, but I've just never really had a reason. But now as a mom there are surprisingly many times where it would've been handy to pass on a card with our information instead of scrambling to find a used napkin or handy-wipe wrapper. So I'm making one! A tiny one! After a search on the internet for "mini business cards" I found MOO.com. You can use your own photos and for a box of 100 cards you can use up to 100 different photos if you want! I can think of all different possibilities - a mini photodeck of our trip to Ethiopia, perhaps? A deck of cards with stuff on it for the kids? Little photo inserts for letters? This is going to be fun.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Season Table


So this was our little project for the day: a fall season display. I saw the idea on another blog that I stumbled upon when I was looking for something else and I noticed the sweet collection of objects they had assembled for fall. This morning the boys and I gathered a few things together and made our own. They've been adding to it throughout the day, but this is what it looked like this morning. We have more leaves in the press and as soon as they're ready we'll add them as well.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Getting Caught Up

I'm not sure where my motivation to work on my blog went, but it seems to have vanished for the past week or so. The problem is that now every time I look at the computer I feel guilty so I thought I should resume my efforts. Here goes.

Let's see. We have a new president! The whole election day I felt like this:

YES! YES! YES!

And what else... Ember is crawling. She's still a little herky jerky and sometimes she ends up going backwards until she's wedged under the furniture, but she's getting around. I can see that things will be busier around here now that she's mobile. She is into everything!

I set up my sewing machine after 5 years of having it packed away. It took me more than a week to wind the bobbin and get the tension right, but I think it's ready to go now. I'd like to sew a little curtain for the opening under the stairs. It's only visible when you're in the utility room, but since I spend a lot of time there - doing my daily meditation and laundry I think it would be nice to spruce the place up.

And I've also been doing a lot of reading about homeschooling. After I finished John Holt's book called Teach Your Own I was ready to commit to it. And then I read Hard Times in Paradise by David and Micki Colfax. They left their professional jobs and moved their family to an undeveloped piece of property in northern California. They started their own little homestead - built a house, raised animals, grew their food, and homeschooled their children who ended up going to Harvard for college. It was pretty inspiring!

Our bright blue fall days are gone. Now it's rain and raking leaves. We gathered up 12 bags this weekend!

Here are a few photos from Halloween. Beck went as Robin and Yogi was an explorer.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Good for a laugh

I saw this on the counter of our local bakery this morning.

Ups and Downs

These days I'm striving for equanimity, but sometimes I'm struck by the amazing ups and downs all in a single day of parenting. There are the times when I feel a rush of pride and can't stop smiling like today when Ember greeted everyone at the pool with a wave or when she claps her hands together all tumbly and awkward when she's excited. It's so cute!

And then there are moments like today when the lifeguard insisted Beck get out of the leisure pool to publicly humiliate him for accidentally tossing a rubber toy that bonked his cousin on the head while they were playing together. This guy was so obnoxious and disrespectful. Beck is painfully careful about not breaking - or even bending any rules. And to be yelled at in such a way was terrifying for him. I watched his lip start to tremble and the tears began to fill up his goggles. It broke my heart to see him so ashamed and scared. So I just pulled him close and gave him a big hug.

And then a few hours later when I'm trying to get dinner together and the boys are squabbling and Ember is crying, I'm about ready to pull my hair out. And even later after baths and everyone is in jammies and snuggled up to me while we read stories together I feel warm and relaxed and so happy that this is me and my life.

I guess I have a long way to go before equanimity.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ghosts in the Bushes


A Great Disappointment

Remember those chocolate chip cookies I wrote about a few weeks ago? The "perfection" recipe that required both cake flour and bread flour and that needed to rest for a few days in the fridge before baking? Well, we made them and I was completely underwhelmed. Even just out of the oven they were flatter than I was hoping and after 24 hours they were hard enough to hurt your jaws while chewing. What's up with that?

A perfect chocolate chip cookie in my book is soft and generous with a crisp outer crust. The texture should be almost cakey,not doughy, not greasy or flat or hard. My hunt for the perfect recipe goes on.

Friday, October 24, 2008

All done


So, we did it! This afternoon we went to court for the finalization of Ember's adoption. It took about 2 minutes in front of the judge and then it was done. She's ours and we're hers forever.

While we were there I had lots of little flashes on all the steps that brought us to this point. Our initial decision to adopt, all the paperwork and trips over the mountains to get fingerprinted, waiting for our referral and following all the adoption blogs to see what we could expect, seeing Ember's face on the computer screen that day last May when we finally got the call, planning our trip to Ethiopia and then being there, holding Ember in our arms at last.

Oh, it feels so good to be at this point and to know that we have a beautiful little daughter sleeping right now in her crib with her pink blankie pulled lightly over her face the way she likes it. We'll be here to see her grow up and meet the world with that big smile of hers. We'll be here for her forever. And it feels so good to say that.

Witch Hazel

In our front yard.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ember's Name

On Friday we have our court appointment to finalize Ember's adoption. And yesterday our attorney's assistant called us to confirm and then spent the rest of the call going over Ember's name. I carefully spelled each one (there are 4, you know!)and the call ended.

It's sort of funny how prepared we were with her name before we went to Ethiopia. We called her Ember, but it wasn't used on any of her official paperwork or traveling visa or passport. They used her given name and then Chris's whole name. That's just how it's done. It was a little disappointing, especially since naming your child is so personal and is exclusively the parents' right.

So now on Friday she becomes legally part of our family and finally, finally she'll have the name we chose for her on her new birth certificate and Decree of Adoption. I'm excited and relieved to be on the final step of our adoption journey. And I can't wait to see her new name, the name we gave her, on all those official papers!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Dilemma

So this is it: the boys loved swimming lessons last session. Now we're into the second week of this session and Yogi won't get into the water - at least not until most of the lesson is over each time.On the first day of this session when his new instructor introduced herself to the group, he just dropped his head into his hands and wept. I think his new instructor is wonderful and he's had the class before so he knows what to expect. Beck isn't in his class, but is just a few feet away in the other group.

So, what do I do? Force him to continue even though he keeps climbing out with a grumpy look on his face and sits on the edge? If I do take him out am I teaching him that it's ok to quit whenever he wants and for no reason? Should I wait and let him take lessons when he's older? Am I wasting money since he won't swim? These are the situations that I find most challenging in parenting.

It's sort of happening in preschool too. The last few weeks Yogi cries when I drop him off. And yesterday he announced that he's quitting preschool. Today when I dropped him off, he looked at me and said, "You know, Mama, I told you I quit! I told you yesterday I QUIT preschool!" I'm not as confused about what to do in this situation since I need both boys to be there so I can attend infant preschool with Ember. But still, it sort of pains me since I only put the boys in this preschool to have fun. They're supposed to be having fun!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pumpkins

Oh, and this day was perfect. I walked outside early in the morning, the sky still fuzzy and gray. It was windy, but remarkably warm - my favorite fall weather. I pretty much decided right then that the boys would be skipping preschool. Instead, we would drive east towards the foothills of the Cascades to pick our own pumpkins at the Fall City Farm. Uncle was visiting and had made the suggestion early in his visit.

It was a gorgeous day. You know the kind - the hills dotted with bright splashes of fall color, sun shining in a clean blue sky, clouds riding by in their own time. The kids were delighted with everything. We wandered around the farm, found our pumpkins (enormous, by the way!), went out to lunch, admired the scenery and the country drive, saw the Snoqualmie Falls . It felt so good to get away, to be surrounded by so much beauty, and to see our kids so full of wonder, so happy! I needed this day.

Deep Breaths

I've been a little preoccupied lately with visiting relatives and trying to learn how to relax. Obviously, I have no natural talent in this area so I have to learn the hard way starting with 15 minutes of sitting meditation every morning. Eventually I'm supposed to work up to 45 minutes, but after starting with 5 I'm feeling pretty good just getting to 15. My zafu and zabuton are set up in the furnace room downstairs where I can close the doors and be sure that nobody needs to come in. Also, because of the furnace it's quite warm in there which is especially nice in the morning. The other part of my regimen is a daily session of progressive relaxation. It's only been a week, but I am feeling better - muscles more relaxed, heart slowing down and flipping out less. Feeling happier, I think. Deep breaths, deep breaths.

Three kids in a tub...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pumpkin



There's a real estate salesman who works a lot in our neighborhood who leaves a pumpkin at our door each year with his card stapled to it. The first year we lived here some teenagers used our pumpkin to bash in the back of our car so now I always bring it right in.

This year the boys took one look at it and started asking if we could make a jack-o-lantern. So yesterday, Beck drew a picture of how he wanted it to look, I opened it up, the boys cleaned it out, and I carved it. Beck called it a "ghost pumpkin". The final result does look pretty much exactly like the picture he drew.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Bits and Pieces

Here I am. It's 9pm and I just got back from the second session of a parenting class I'm taking. We talked a lot about praise and our "praise junkie society". We're supposed to encourage instead. Take the judgment out of it -- so instead of saying "Good job!" or "I like that!" you should say, "You did it!" or "I sure appreciate your help!" I'm not so convinced that this will make a significant difference in their lives - I mean, will it really effect their self esteem or confidence? But I'll admit that even this one session made me wake up to all the "good jobs" I rattle off all the time.

What else? Ember: she's trying to crawl! Even in the last few days she's made progress. She is constantly turning from a sitting position to getting on her tummy and today she's started being able to support herself on two hands and one knee instead of flattening instantly onto her stomach. She's also recently started having some stranger anxiety which is a big change for her.

And the boys: the first swimming session is over and Beck was promoted to Seahorse. Yogi will do Tadpoles again, but he's putting his face in now. Today is the first class in our new session.

Photos from the weekend:


Thursday, October 9, 2008

The City of Ember


This was one of my favorite children's novels and it's opening tomorrow in theaters. If you haven't read it you must - and do it before you see it on the big screen!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Unpacked


Finally, almost three months since we returned from Ethiopia, I've unpacked the last suitcase. It was mostly empty except for the traditional clothes we received from our agency and the shawls we purchased there ourselves. I carefully folded each beautifully woven piece and all the shawls or netela and gabi and zipped them into a small plastic garment bag.

And I have to say, I felt a little wistful to see those pretty textiles packed away. I love the simple gauzy white cloth with the flash of bright color on the bottom. I just don't know when I would wear one. And now that they're put away it feels even more like our trip is fading into the past. We do have a few things around the house: some baskets, a necklace I bought in Aksum, a handful of beautiful ancient beads, but the shawls and their everyday beauty are quintessential Ethiopia.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Homeschool ?


Tired. Muscle tension. That pretty much covers it for now.

Actually, I did have an interesting experience visiting the Homeschool Resource Center in a neighboring school district. We are considering this as a possibility for our kids, but I'm just exploring our options at this point. As expected, I noticed a few Jesus Now! bumper stickers in the parking lot, some students reading bibles in the library - as well as several girls in burqas and lots of teenagers that didn't look too interested in academics. Hmmm, not sure how well we'd fit in there, but the cool thing about this "school" is that you never have to take any classes on the campus anyway. You do need to have a learning plan and meet with a teacher once every three months, but that's about it. You also get a budget of $500 to spend on the curriculum you use or for other classes or field trips. Could be good, but I want to visit our neighborhood elementary before I make any decisions.

Another day in the park


the latest obsession: Star Wars

Monday, October 6, 2008

Blah, blah, blah...

Well, just when I thought I wasn't doing very well, things took a turn here for the worse. On Thursday night I got a serious episode of sciatica so that on Friday I couldn't walk. I'm not kidding. I could barely move my left leg without piercing pain shooting through my body.

And on top of that Ember started throwing up. She had stopped eating on Thursday so I knew something wasn't right, but although she didn't seem like her cheerful self on Friday, she was still hungry. I fed her a bottle which she vomited onto our couch about a minute later which required a trip to the dry cleaners.

And then during the night on Friday, Yogi started crying and whining and saying that he couldn't sleep. This went on for hours - he tried in our bed, we tried sleeping with him in his bed, nothing worked. Then it occurred to me that it must be an ear infection. On Sunday morning we took him in and the doctor confirmed it. But before we could even get his first dose of medicine, he started throwing up and shaking with fever. That went on for the rest of the day.

But, in spite of all this a few miracles did occur: I needed a new pair of jeans and the first pair that I tried on in the first store I went to fit perfectly. How often does that happen? And then we found an ad on Craig's list for a babysitter looking for work and we interviewed her and hired her for 9 hours a week and she's wonderful! And I've been doing my exercises for sciatica and it's working and I can walk again. And today, nobody is throwing up. See? Miracles!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Portrait of Ember


Ember was a little fussy a few nights ago so Beck said he was going to draw a picture to make her happy. And then he drew this which he explained is a picture of Ember! What makes it extra special is that this is the first time we've ever seen him draw a person at all -- unfortunately, he did it on our white board so all we could do is photograph it. He nailed the hair!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Updates:

1. Court date to finalize Ember's adoption: October 24th!
2. Baby sweater: almost finished with front panel
3. Interviewing a babysitter tonight to come and help on a regular basis. Keeping my fingers crossed that she's a good fit for us!

Pain

I'm home again after a few days of escape at the cabin. Escape from the housework schedule (it's working, but I'm still sick of doing it all), escape from rushing out of the house to get to the next activity, escape from my kitchen and laundry and all the other stuff that seems to be wearing me down lately. I'm ashamed to admit it since I know how much I have to be happy about, but I'm feeling a little down lately. Ok, a lot down. Mostly it's the pain in my upper back from the muscle tension. It's constant now. ALL THE TIME PAIN. My doctor did prescribe a muscle relaxant which does help, but it also makes you sleepy and slushy and a little dull and unmotivated (thus the lack of posts.)

In the past what has helped me the most is yoga and meditation, but the results aren't immediate and it requires regular practice over many months. I have started up again using Jon Kabat-Zinn's mindfulness-based stress reduction program which is the class I took and that helped me immensely after Yogi was born. I was actually pain free for over a year. It's good stuff. No "slushy brain" side effects either.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Our Cuties:

Ember Jane

and the boys.