Friday, January 23, 2009

Five years ago today

Five years ago today my firstborn entered into the world. She came at 8:45pm on a snowy Friday night in a hospital just north of Chicago. I went to the hospital the day after my due date for an induction -- I was just too uncomfortable to stay pregnant any longer, and frankly, I was too impatient and wanted to meet my little girl!

So at 6am we went in, excited, nervous, and just a bit scared out of our minds. At 8am (1cm dilated) they started the pitocin drip. At 3pm (3cm dilated) the doctor broke my water to speed things along. At the same time, the doctor attached a monitor to the baby's scalp. At 3:05pm I decided these contractions are just too unbearable, and asked for the epidural. A few contractions later, I no longer felt anything from the waist down. The epidural was so effective that I couldn't even move my legs.

At 8pm (or was it 8:30?) I was determined to be fully dilated, so at the nurse's direction I began to push. Just a few pushes later, Eliz (Iza? Zabe? We're still working on a nickname...) was born at 8:45pm. She weighed 7lb, 7oz, and measured 20.5 inches long. She was perfect. She still is.

Despite our parenting skills (or lack thereof), she's a sweet, smart, and silly little girl who loves to learn about the world all around her. She can read (with so much expression!), count by 2s, 5s, 10s, all the way to a few hundreds, tell time on a dial clock, and add/subtract like nobody's business. She loves to sing, play games, put together jigsaw puzzles, and work on the pages of her workbooks. She hates to be told what to do when she doesn't feel like it, waking up earlier than she wants to, going to bed earlier than she wants to, and doing things that are more difficult than she thinks she can do.

As a baby she was so easy. She nursed like a champ, slept through the night (well, 6 hours) at 6 weeks, and hardly ever cried. She never even got her first cold until she was almost a year old, and diaper rashes were pretty much a foreign concept for two years. She was never picky with clothes or food, and made me feel like a parenting pro. Of course it wasn't my parenting skills that made her this way -- it was all God's grace. He knew I can't handle things otherwise, I'm sure!

I treasured her baby words. Pim-dae for chim-dae (bed). Dda-ddeu-geo for vegetables. Da-da for doggy. Dugga-dugga for the letter W. Her grabbing one hand with the other, and pumping it back and forth as she signs "baby."

I loved her made-up songs. My favorite was her singing in the car about a month before her third birthday: "I love my car, I love my bed. I love my house. 'Cause, I love my house. I love my car. I love my bed. I love my bed. I love my ..."

She's grown up so much now. A big sprout, her clothes are a bit too short on her, and yet some of her skirts are still too big around to stay up on her waist. She has displayed the ability to play peacefully with her little sister without fighting (when she feels like it). She even shows a nurturing side when she feels like it, running to the bathroom to help Abi with the toilet paper or washing her hands, helping unbuckle her from her car seat when we arrive at our destination.

Happy birthday, my first baby. I love you. May God bless you and grow you to become a lovely woman, one who takes care of the people around her, one who is well-loved and well-liked, one who fears the Lord.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What we had for lunch today

i've been reading this blog about lunchpacking, and i've been very inspired by it. not so inspired that i make hot lunches for my family from scratch every morning, but inspired enough that i don't just slap together two slices of bread with mayo and call it lunch. not that there's anything wrong with that, but let's just say that after seeing this blog, i wouldn't let my mother-in-law ever think that that's what i feed her son or her grandchildren on a regular basis. speaking of her, she asked me a few months ago what i make for my husband's lunch, and although i was able to describe what i pack for him, i was a little disappointed that she didn't get to see with her own eyes. so here are a few pictures, just so i can brag that lunch isn't just a two-slice-of-bread affair, but is a complete meal with protein (turkey), veggies (cucumber slices in sandwich!), grains (bread), dairy (yogurt, string cheese), and fruit (oranges).

Saturday, January 10, 2009

the cat's out of the bag now

i guess i'm gonna have to start censoring what i say now since i told my husband today that i have a blog. *laugh*

just kidding.

in other news, life is almost back to its regularly scheduled programming now. the in-laws are gone today after a two-week visit (one week in southern california, another week here), gymnastics and preschool has started back up, and my husband's normal workweek will resume this coming monday. i've enjoyed not having to rush the kids out of the house every morning for two weeks, but i'm glad to have the familiar mundane day-to-day life back. even if it means i gotta rush the kids out of the house every morning again.

one thing i will miss, however, is the great variety of home-cooked food that i myself don't have to prepare from start-to-finish. couple that with our post-holiday budget, and we're probably gonna be eating cabbage and beans every night for the next couple of months. well, we *should*, anyway.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

we spent Christmas day in the car

on Christmas eve my in-laws flew in from overseas. the next day we all (me, my husband, the two kids, and the ILs) drove down to southern california. when we left at 11am, it was raining at home. by the time we got onto i-5 the rain stopped, but it was so windy the car was pushed side to side for hours, it seemed. we even saw tumbleweeds racing across the freeway, some even exploding upon collision with cars.

after a few hours, we even happened upon a dust storm. it was so dense that we encountered stop-and-go traffic, where the dust was so dense that visibility was probably no more than 50 feet. then just as fast as we had to stop and crawl along, the fog, er, dust, blew away and we were able to resume our normal driving speed.

we finally encountered grapevine and the los angeles mountains, and rain. off in the distance i could see saw snow-capped peaks. as we ascended, i began to see snow along the side of the road. and as we kept going on, i noticed that the rain wasn't splattering onto the windshield anymore -- it was just blowing off to the side. that's when i realized this isn't rain, this is snow!

we finally arrived in southern california and were thankful to be in one piece. i think the hardest part was the many potty breaks we had to take for the kids. what should've been a five-hour drive ended up a seven-hour drive. but whoa, what an experience. i never thought that in one single day i'd drive through rain, then wind, then tumbleweeds, then dust storm, then snow. especially in california. driving to warm-weathered southern california.

Obligatory New Year's Resolution

last year i joined jazzercise in an attempt to "become healthier." after 10 months, though, the only thing that feels lighter is my wallet. i've gone as often as i can, but because of schedule constraints, it comes out to only a maximum of three times a week (monday night, friday morning, and saturday morning). between my husband's work schedule (i want him to be home on time from work for us to eat dinner together before i can skip off to class), having-fun plans (day trips, weekend trips, and staying up later than i really should thereby making me too tired to wake up for class), and my own personal problem with inertia, many times it is reduced to just once or twice a week.

well, we got a mailer from costco recently that advertised 2 years for $289 at a gym in our area, so we decided to go for it. we figure 7 months of jazzercise will pay for 2 years at the gym, so we splurged and got two memberships -- one for me, one for him. he wants to go at least 4 times a week (i'm sure if he had his way we'd go daily, and he'll go again in the middle of the night). we'll see. i think it's a better way to go than jazzercise though.

it's cheaper.
it's more flexible, schedule-wise.
they've got childcare -- $4 for two kids.
i can shower and change there when i'm done instead of driving home in my sweat.
it's a whole-family affair -- instead of going alone, we all go together, although i can still shower in peace while the kids are in childcare!!

i already kinda' miss going to jazzercise class, though. the ladies there are nice, and despite my reluctance to sweat, i never regretted showing up to class once i finally got my butt out of the house and into the car.

so here it is: my new year's resolution is to work out at least twice a week. hopefully i'll work out more often, maybe three or even four times a week. (who knows, maybe i'll even enjoy sweating. ick.) i figure if i say it out loud and share it with you, i'll be too embarrassed to go back on my word. riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Friday, January 2, 2009

the ride begins

so here goes. i've got a few friends who have blogs, so i figure why not have one of my own. the new year seems a good time to begin one. let's see if this lasts longer than any typical new year's resolution though. *laugh* and who knows what i'll be writing about anyway. probably just random musings, family stuff, that kind of thing. hopefully i'll be able to get things off my chest and be interesting enough to read without revealing too much about my family and where i live and stuff like that. you know, the whole privacy thing. tune in and we'll see what happens.

the past week and a half have been busy with preparing for my ILs visit, a drive down to southern california and a disneyland visit, Christmas, new year's, and tons of cooking. i made my second turkey of the season (once for thanksgiving, another for new year's -- that's right, a new year's turkey!) and i'm feeling pretty good about this "turkey dinner" thing. bring on the bird, bring on the appetites, i'm ready!