Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I’ve been neglecting my blogs…once again. Eh, too bad. Here are many many updates- good luck making it to the end. :) (Austria, Jess? Haha)

My grandpa

After 13 days in the hospital, Grandpa was released yesterday and brought to a rehab center/ nursing home that my Dad and his sister chose. Dad wasn’t able to stay in NJ to make sure Grandpa was settled because of work and returned to OH late Monday night, but it sounds like Grandpa is still very confused. Heath wise, he is doing a little better, but the doctors are still quite concerned about blood clots and his mental health. There are a few decisions to be made by the family in regards to advance directives, so continued prayers would be appreciated for sure.

My grandma

Grandma, now well into her 2nd month of chemo, is doing well for the most part. She lost her hair, and I saw her without for the first time a few weeks ago when we went out to dinner. Even though I thought I prepared myself well, it was still a shock to see her bald. She, too, has been having additional health problems- this time around it’s double vision/ dizzy spells, so the drama continues

My family

My family in OH is keeping busy so I don’t get to talk to them as much as I would like. I talked to Rachael on the phone the other day, and she informed me that her math book is getting harder. She is in 1st grade, but is working on 2nd grade math. I thought that was cute. Lily had just begun to flood the basement while attempting to water the dogs, but I believe that got under control quickly and there wasn’t much damage. Bryan just celebrated his birthday on Saturday, and it was a hard day for me. I have found that birthdays and holidays are when I find it hardest to be apart from my siblings. Sam is enjoying school and soccer, but it sounds like he’s gone from home many evenings because of soccer games/ practices. Amata is having a blast at college from what I can tell, and I am glad I have a friend there who can keep an eye on my social butterfly of a sister. She’s involved in so many activities that I can tell her college experience is going to do anything but parallel mine. Shae’s sorority had rush week last week and she and I had a good conversation one day as she explained to me how rush week works. Always good to learn…

Old Friends, But Good Ones

In the past few weeks, I have been connected with a couple old friends that I’ve been missing for years and thinking of frequently. Ryan was a guy I worked with for a few years before heading to Virginia, and I was disappointed not to find him working in my old school’s cafeteria when I returned to visit. He had moved on to greater things and higher paying jobs, and today I got a message from him. We’ve always gotten along great and I’ve missed his crazy but funny ways. He and I always had a great camaraderie working together and just plain got along well. I could tell him anything and he wouldn’t judge or laugh- hopefully the next time I visit OH I’ll be able to catch up with my old buddy. :) Katie is a former classmate of mine, although we only attended college together for one semester. I’d seen her once since she graduated in 2003, but only for a short time. She actually flew to OH this past summer for a wedding, but I was here in MA so I missed her. Anyway, I ran across her email address online a few weeks ago and we’ve reconnected. It’s awesome!

Traveling

I have the travel itch so badly right now, and wish I could just pick up and go to Bolivia or Scotland for a few weeks to visit my dear friends…that’s obviously not possible! However, I may have a fun trip coming up this weekend, but I need to wait and see how it pans out. I was FINALLY able to buy my ticket to OH for Christmas. I’ll be there 9 days and will hit my parents annual Christmas party (think a few hundred people to catch up with…it’s great!), Christmas Eve and Day with my family, my friend Colleen’s wedding, and a New Year’s Eve bash with some of my best friends. It’s looking like a great trip. California is looking like it’s going to happen as well, all I need to do is buy the ticket and go- that will be in December and I’ll visit my cousin Matt, who I haven’t seen in over 5 years.

My job

My job is going extremely well. I’m content where I am, and at this point have absolutely no plans to move back to Ohio. This is much to the chagrin of my mother’s friends who, while they praised my work while I was visiting, made no secret of their desire for me to move back so as to spend more time with them and their children. I do miss everyone in Ohio, but at the same time, I know this is where I am supposed to be. Seriously. I know it sounds cliché, but I just know. For now, I’m staying put until …??

Being a Mom

Okay, so I’m not REALLY a mom, but I feel like it most of the time. I get the kids up in the morning, feed them breakfast, get them dressed, off to school, play with the Little Miss, go grocery shopping, do the laundry, clean, cook, play outside with the kids and the neighbor friends, make snacks, comfort them when they are sick or hurt, read the kids books, discipline them, drive them to gymnastics/friend’s houses/ etc.

So, I took the Little Miss D to the playground one day last week and because I had time to relax a little and watch mothers interacting with their children (having to only watch 1 child instead of my usual 3) and I was amazed at the different types of parents, even at the playground. Of course, I learned about all these parenting types in my various education classes, but this was real life observation. I noticed parents who had their hawk’s eye on the child, and they warned the child about anything headed their way- “No, Johnny, don’t go down that slide, you’ll hurt yourself”, “Johnny, that rope is too high for you”, etc. but didn’t interact with her child at all other than the yelling. There was the mom who had her ear glued to the cell phone the entire time we were at the park. This mom kept up her conversation quite well, even when her little boy, about 2 years old, fell off a slide and bit his lip. Never did she offer one word of comfort to the toddler, who was obviously in pain, and never did she allow him on her lap to snuggle a bit. This little boy was brushed off at the playground (aka kid land!) and I just wanted to pick him up and console him. A third mom was mingling with other moms but keeping a close eye, out of sight to her daughter, as this little one explored the inner workings of slides, ropes, tire swings, etc. As we left, I just couldn’t stop thinking about this normal daily activity and the different ways children can experience it.

The Kids

Onto the children I watch… J is really enjoying 2nd grade. We work daily on his spelling words before he runs out to play with friends, and last week he got all of the words correct by Wednesday and aced the test on Friday. After a few weeks of school, I’m noticing that he must have matured a lot over the summer. Being with him daily I didn’t recognize it, but I’m not getting any more of the attitude that I saw last school year. He’s in gymnastics 2x a week and seems to be loving it. J also participated in this last year, but at a lower level and only 1x a week for a shorter amount of time.

Z-Man goes to preschool four days a week and the schedule completely agrees with him. The last few weeks of summer I thought we were all going to go nuts, just because Z-Man does much better with a schedule, and summer was not providing that at all. Yesterday morning, Z-Man’s mother got the surprise of her life when she walked into his room and he was picking out his own clothes and dressing, all by himself. He and I have been working on that skill all summer and he finally had a chance to show off. Potty training is still going well…we’re chugging along. It’s been 3 months now, and I think he’s ready to say goodbye to the diapers. Poor Z-Man was very sick today with the stomach virus. He was fine this morning and went to school, but I was called before 10 am saying he’d thrown up and needed to come home. The Little Miss and I rushed over to find poor Z-Man completely drained, vomiting, and sleepy as can be. After a turbulent (haha) ride home in the car with only one episode, he was placed in bed and slept for nearly 3 hours, waking only to get sick all over his bed, clothes, and sheets a few times. By mid-afternoon he was ready to come downstairs and just relax on the couch for the rest of the day. We watched many episodes of the Backyardigans, Blue’s Clues, and Between the Lions, but got to snuggle a bit too so it was nice. He ate some rice pasta for dinner and so far, so good. I’ve successfully made it through my first really sick kid nanny moment. Glad it’s over…

Little Miss will be 1 ½ in October and she’s usually very fun for me to have around. Lately, she’s been very cute and also well behaved, which is a relief from the tantrums she threw a few weeks ago. With that behind us, she spends her free time (usually most of the day) playing quite well by herself. Yesterday I was cleaning the pantry for hours, and the entire time she was tearing through old boxes and helping me. She’s a little mama for sure, carrying around her dolls and asking for “help” when she can’t get them in the stroller. She’s learning how to not get so frustrated after a few seconds and likes to try a couple times by herself before asking for help. At the playground last week she enjoyed going down the slides all alone for the first time. She was so timid when we first arrived, but by the time we had to leave to get her brothers, she had to be torn away. She’s growing up so fast, and it’s hard to believe she wasn’t even walking when I arrived here in March!

And thus ends this saga, till later!

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Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. Comments warmly welcomed! :-)