Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Sweetest Words

We all have colds right now, and as I came into the house, I sneezed. "Bless you, Mommy," said Owen, from his toy room where he was watching the Backyardigans. My heart leaped as I realized he put a sentence together. He didn't just say "bless you" like he had been doing lately when someone sneezed or coughed, he said it to me, at the appropriate time, and in the correct way. He said "bless you, mommy." Thank you, Owen, I feel blessed to have you.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Settling In

It's been almost three weeks now since we've moved, and I am starting to like the new house (although I really don't have a choice). I do miss my old house still, and already Erik and I have had a couple of fights over silly, stupid things that got blown out of proportion. I suppose we are both still under stress, and I just keep hoping our lives will get back to a normal schedule. Maybe it never will, maybe we need to develop a new schedule. Today, Erik got the office straightened out and my desk put up so at least I can start unpacking that room and getting my calendar in order. I feel so lost without a calendar on my fridge like we had in the old house. Of course, now that we have a stainless steel fridge, the first thing everyone tells me is that you can't put anything on it. I suppose I'm old fashioned like that where I loved to put pictures on my fridge, quotes, relevant information, etc. Now, I'm living in a different world, it seems.

Both the kids woke up all night last night, sick, completely sick. Of course, Owen just got off antibiotics, I got him his flu shot, and sure enough, by the time we got him home his nose was running. And Tess, poor girl, she was so sick that she had a fever last night, although I'm not sure if the fever was because her front tooth finally broke through and it was on top of the cold. Today her nose was running completely green junk, and Owen's too. I just can't believe how fast these nasty bugs take hold of innocent children. If I could see them and they were something I could hunt down and kill, I would spend every last breath I had finding those germs and killing them.

Other than that, I am kind of glad to see the holidays end. They are always so much more work than I have energy for, and then there is always the let down when it is over. I know that I should be getting into it more because I have kids, but for me, Christmas has always been a disappointment. Except last Christmas, when I was pregnant with Tess. All I wanted to do was bake cookies, and make new dishes, and I was so happy to be pregnant. Owen was just young enough not to understand the whole Christmas thing, but old enough not to mess with the decorations. And my house, my beautiful little house in the Hollywood Hills. It was so charming when we decorated for Christmas, and it just had that magical feel. I wonder if our new house will ever have that magical feel? Maybe once we get the living room done and we can actually have a fire in the fireplace, and maybe when we have a backyard so the kids can go out and play. I know it will happen. I have to remember that my house in the hills was not complete either when we moved in. It was exactly the way I wanted it when we left, but it was a long road to get there, too.

I always get so sentimental as the year closes, and the New Year approaches. I feel as if there is so much promise with a new year, as if there is a clean slate waiting for me to begin again with. I have such high hopes for this next year, for a new direction in our lives with a new house and neighborhood. I hope my kids stay healthy, and alive, and that we are there to see them through to the end of 2007.

May your new year be safe and happy...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

It's Christmas Time

I’m home alone right now, in the new house, and it seems so nice to have some time to myself. I got a chance to work out, which I feel as if I haven’t done in ages, and have a minute to write. I feel so out of sorts these past few days, and feel as if something is wrong with me. Maybe it’s just mental, maybe it’s because of the holidays, maybe it’s because of the move. Both Erik and I stressed out so much over this move, Erik got a bad case of the hives, and I had a major panic attack the other night, complete with chest pains. I went into the doctor yesterday, just to be sure I was okay, and they did an EKG, which came back fine. But, I’m now worried about the other thing I went into the doctor for: my hands keep falling asleep. Now, I work out quite a bit, as well as walk, so it’s not like I sit in front of the TV all day. I move around, so it can’t be a circulation problem. It’s been getting so bad that I wake up all night long because of it. It’s been going on for at least six months, and I thought it was because I was bringing Tess into bed with me and she was sleeping in my arm, thereby it would fall asleep. But it seems to happen during the day too, when I am holding things for any length of time. For instance, when I hold my cell phone to my ear with the same hand for too long, or when I hold the stroller with both hands for a long walk, or when I lift weights. I don’t know what it could be, but the doctor seems to think there is nerve damage somewhere. She said the worst case scenario could be MS, which of course, made me totally freak out. But I can’t let it get to me. I am going to see a neurologist in a few weeks, who hopefully, will be able to tell me it’s just carpal tunnel syndrome. I really am a hypochondriac almost all the time, but this time, this has been going on too long. I usually give myself the two-week rule, and if it’s gone in two weeks, then it wasn’t really anything. But this, this has been for quite some time. I thought it was because of being pregnant, and then having surgery again (my second C-section), and my body hasn’t feel quite the same since. Of course, I am three years older than when I had Owen, so my body has aged.

I just want to be happy again. I want to go back to the time when I was living in my old house on Bennett, I was pregnant with Tess, and Owen was 2 years old. He was so cute and little (and didn't throw temper tantrums), and I could still be in my imaginary world where everything was good and people were nice. I felt good, I was happy. Now, we are in a different house, which I know it will take time to get used to, and Owen is older and Tess is almost a year old already. It’s as if time has sped up and I’m not even being given a chance to enjoy it. What is it about being pregnant that makes me relish the time; makes me able to slow down for a little while more than I normally would? I have that sense again, that something bad is going to happen, to me or my family. I just can’t shake it, and I wonder if part of it is because I recently stopped breast feeding Tess (not because I wanted to, but because she refused to feed from me). I have that feeling again of not being in control of my life, as if it is spinning out of control and I can’t stop what’s going to happen. I think it’s got to be just the hormones that are leaving my body.

So in two days it’s Christmas. I can’t find the stockings that I have for Erik and the kids, so I suppose we’ll have to do without this year. We did get some presents for the kids, Owen is getting a child’s guitar (he loves to pretend he is playing the guitar), and Tess is getting a little bike that she can sit on and move with her feet on the floor. I haven’t gotten Erik anything yet, and of course I still have to shop for food for Christmas dinner. I know I should appreciate the holidays a little more now, especially with my kids being young, but I feel as if I haven’t had any time to bake cookies, or make soups or stews, and I haven’t had a chance to really relax and enjoy the warmth of the holiday spirit. It really is one of the hardest times to move into a new house, especially one that isn’t finished. I can barely find my clothes, let alone my recipes and my bakeware. I suppose it will be different next year, and we will have settled in by then. Perhaps even having Christmas dinner here in a few days will christen the house, imprinting our home with laughter and cheer.

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Back Online

Finally, we have moved into our new house! It's not finished, but we have a working kitchen, some living space and a fully functioning bathroom. At last, we finally out of my mother-in-law's house and in our own. I never thought I would survive living with her. It was constant nagging from morning until night. It's amazing how bad someone can make you feel, and all you are trying to do is keep out of their way. At least we are in our own home now. Owen had to go on antibiotics because his cold would not clear up, and why should it, when they kept their house so cold. The windows leaked cold air everywhere, and they would turn the heat up and open the windows. I know it's not the coldest part of the country, but when it's 40 degrees at night, that is still pretty cold to have the windows open. I thought for sure I was going to get sick.

The new house we are in is so airtight that no cold leaks anywhere. We set the thermometer and that is what it stays at. I am still trying to sort through things, but at least we have much more space to put things. And, finally, we have our internet service running. At least now I can keep in contact with the world.

I went to Owen's school the other day to make a Christmas stocking for him, sort of an informal parent-teacher morning. I was talking with the teachers and they were telling me that they are so proud of Owen and how far he has come. They really see a lot of progress with him. One of his teachers told me that having seen the progress Owen has made, makes her feel so good, and that "kids like Owen are the reason I teach." It made me feel so good to hear that. Both of them said that they believe Owen is very high functioning, and understands everything that is going on. It's just that he doesn't talk as much as the other kids. I wonder if my child will ever reach the "why" stage like so many other kids his age have. He never questions anything, never asks why. Is it that he doesn't need to know? Is it that in some weird way he is okay with the way things are and doesn't need to ask why?

It's funny. I see other kids his age and how much more verbal they are, and how much more aware they are of their environment (throwing tantrums because they want everything they see, telling their parents what they want Santa to bring, etc.) but I see in Owen a calmness, as if material things don't matter. He never asks for things when we go to the store. He doesn't scream and cry if I don't buy him something he sees. I wonder why that is. Of course, my MIL says "well, it must be a Down Syndrome thing." Excuse me? Just because he's not programmed to want every toy and gadget he sees, and scream and cry for chips and ice cream( well, okay, he will scream for chips, but that's about it). I just want to scream at her that maybe it's because we haven't taught him that it's okay to have every little toy and thing just because everyone else has it. Maybe it is a Down syndrome thing, but who cares? My child is much better off for it, then.

I will try to post more often, now that I am back online and settling into my new home. Hopefully, we will be able to get a Christmas tree up, but without much furniture, it will look a little funny...