Friday, September 25, 2009

What a Week!

What a week! I am so very, over tired. I need sleep. I need Livi to sleep. I need to sleep without being hyper sensitive to how she is breathing. I need to relax. I need to not dream. I need to fall asleep at a reasonable hour. I need to sleep!

I guess the business started a while ago already. I had been working so much a few weeks ago. Then within these last two week I went to a couple of different community events... Eat! Fraser Valley, a Mother Mother concert at a bar at UBC (dancing with all the college kids made me feel old!), the Cloverdale Kids Swap, and the MCC Fair! I also made it to a baby shower, a birthday party, and a play date. I hosted dinner once and made it to both of Livi's music and movement classes so far! Wow, busy weeks! I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Livi is sick and I am so tired!

Monday morning Livi woke up with a cough. It wasn't anything that we were to concerned about though. Just an occasional bark. But lunch time though, she had spiked a high fever. She was up to nearly 39 degrees, under arm! We were able to keep it down in the moderate range though. That night she started having coughing attacks that made her throw up. She has never been a very pukey baby so it scared her. She cried a lot. My poor baby! My mom thought it sounded like croup, so we did all the home remedies that we could come up with.

Livi improved. Tuesday she still had a few coughing attacks but only a low grade to moderate fever. Wednesday she was well enough to go to music class and stop by some friends house for an impromptu play date. Thursday things started going south again though. Her cough came back with a vengeance and her fever was creeping up again.

Thursday was also the day that my Grandpa ended up in the emergency room. I ended up going to the hospital to make sure Grandma was doing okay. My uncle was there and very attentive to Grandpa, but I wanted to make sure Grandma had some one to support her and make sure she had eaten and was taking care of herself. My Grandpa is a very wonderful, stubborn, Mennonite man who always denies his pain and doesn't take help from family or medical professionals well. My uncle ended up having to insist he let himself be taken to the ER. It is a good thing too. He will be staying there for the next week.

Today was just as busy. I took my Grandma to the hospital, had a much needed hair appointment, stayed with Livi who wasn't napping because her cough kept waking her up while Jon went to two appointments, then we took Livi to the doctors. Livi was diagnosed with brochiolitis, also known as baby asthma. She has been put on some inhalers and she should be feeling better in a few days. She will get over this, although she may have more flare ups in the next year or so. This also may mean that she is more prone to developing regular asthma when she is older. I'm praying this doesn't happen.

Livi was so tired today but couldn't sleep, so she was miserable... which in turn made Mommy and Daddy miserable. I feel so helpless when she is sick... okay, I don't have much experience with it. This is only the third time she has been sick. She is very easy going generally and also handles being sick pretty well. I still know she is feeling miserable though. She has been very cuddly but restless and whiny. I don't know how to help her. She is so upset and scared when she is having a cough attack and can't breath properly. Consequently, I haven't been sleeping well because I am hyper sensitive to every noise she makes. I know she won't just stop breathing but the idea still freaks me out. Since I'm hyper sensitive, I don't think I'm allowing my body to go in to a proper deep sleep and have been having a lot of dreams and nightmares. Did I mention I was tired?

We don't have anything planned for tomorrow. I cancelled the family photo's we were going to have taken by a friend of mine so we can concentrate on getting Livi healthy and myself rested. Red puffy eyes don't lend to nice photos. Well, I think it is safe for me to go to bed now. Livi hasn't woken up in the last half hour and it isn't too early to try and sleep anymore. Goodnight! I know my last few posts have been wordy, so for those of you who only look at my blog to see pictures of Livi, I'll try and post a few pictures tomorrow.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Back to Church?

I went to church tonight for the first time in nearly a year, aside from Easter and Christmas services. I did not make a conscious decision to stop going to church. It was kind of a gradual thing. We had so many major stresses happen in a short amount of time last year that church just seemed to be one more thing we "had" to do. The church we attend was having it's own share of issues too. We gave ourselves permission to take a hiatus for a while. We needed to, for our own mental health. Our energy level and lives were already being run so thin that being part of another community, particularly another broken one, was far to wearing on us.

I struggled with this decision throughout the year, but still had little energy or desire to return. I was raised that if you claimed to be a Christian you must be an active part of a church community. I still believe this. I think an important part of Christianity is the Church Community... and all the good, bad, and the ugly that goes along with that community. As much as many church goers would not like to believe there is a lot of bad and ugly parts of the Church. With me consciously deciding to stop attending, I wondered if I still had a right to call myself a Christian. Did I believe that I was still a Christian? I still believed in a God or Higher Power... but I wasn't sure where I stood on the whole religion thing. The Church, Christianity, is religion. It is all the history, organization, miss-teachings, power struggles, abuse, break-off sects, varying theologies and practices, as well as all the beauty, love, grace and mysticism that we know to be true. It is not God. I think it is a little ridiculous to be a part of a church community and claim to not be religious. It is common to hear Evangelical Christians, in particular, denounce religion and pronounce only a relationship with Jesus. Hmmm... I'm opening up a whole can of worms here. I think I'll leave that alone. If you want to question or challenge me, message me and maybe I'll answer in another post.

Anyway, one of the biggest things pulling me back to church is wanting Livi to grow up feeling safe and welcome in a church community. Now, that is kind of an absurd idea... safe and welcome at church? How many people experience that? I sure didn't! I still hold on to an ideal of church though. I want Livi to grow up with a strong connection to God, however that may look for her. I want her to know the Bible stories, be challenged in her understanding of them and have the morals and ideas that they portray be uniquely personified through her. I want her to view worship as an authentic, pure display of someones experience, whatever medium that may take, and not as entertainment. I want her to experience the practical perks of being part of a church community too. I want her to give food in times of overwhelming joy or grief and receive that practical necessity when she needs it as well. I want her to be in a community where she is not judged, given the freedom to question theology and disagree with those in her community but still respect them and be respected in return. I want her to experience a community of inclusion, with members from all races, age groups, abilities, sexual preferences, social and economical statuses and varying degrees of brokenness. I want her to feel free to be uniquely authentic. I don't want her to feel guilty for missing a few or a lot of Sunday's in a row, for swearing, masturbating, questioning, befriending a homosexual, or any of those other Church taboos. Wow, that seems like a lot to ask for.

Maybe I'm setting myself up for disappointment. I do believe that by participating in a church community it is important to accept and learn from the failures that will inevitably happen but continue to strive for an ideal. Complaining about the shortfalls of your church community but not doing anything to try and help the situation is absurd. I know I have a lot of critiques on Christianity but I also think I have a lot to offer a community. No church is going to be perfect. No Christian tradition has it right.

With all this rambling I'm not sure I'm ready to commit and start participating in a church community again but I'm coming to that place again. Slowly. I am/have been a part of a church that has its own share of problems and baggage but it also offers the most grace based, judgement free theology that I have ever heard and that is SO refreshing. The community at Nexus, "my" church, is lacking but they are making strives to do something about that, while being authentic and challenging. This is a new era for the little church and I think I'd really like to be a part of it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Little of This and That

I don't really have anything to write about today. I just felt like writing something... so lets see where this goes.

Thursday nights are going to be difficult television nights. How on earth am I going to choose between watching Grey's Anatomy, 30 Rock, So You Think You Can Dance, and okay, I'll admit it, Vampire Diaries? I don't think Vampire Diaries will remain much of a contender but I do get some kind of sick enjoyment from teenage-angst filled vampire love. Currently Grey's Anatomy is winning. It is the rerun of last years season finale. I am getting ready to cry my eyes out, again. Can't wait for the season premier next week!

I'm generally not such a TV junkie. I usually only have one or two shows that I follow each year. I think being a stay at home mom who tends to always have the TV on no matter what I am doing has started to ruined me. I don't know why I leave it on. I've done that since I was a kid. My mom does the same thing. I think I like the back ground noise, or the option to multitask so I don't get bored. I hope my habit doesn't turn Livi in to a TV junkie. Maybe I should cancel our cable... I think we are in a contract though. I guess I'm stuck with my original dilemma.... Grey's, 30 Rock or SYTYCD? I am very glad that Glee has made it to the airways. If you haven't seen it yet, watch it. I love it. I think it has the potential to be my new favorite show... next to Friends of course. NOTHING will replace the fabulousness that was Friends. 

These past two weeks have been very busy for us... well, me in particular. I have worked a lot. Out of the 15 day pay period, I worked eight days I think. That is a lot for someone who is only supposed to work one maybe two shorter shifts a week. All of those days were either evenings or weekends so we wouldn't need to get childcare. Jon and I would only see each other at home for ten minutes during the trade off. Livi has been more clingy too. I think it is probably a result of me working more. I've been trying to spend a lot of extra quality time with her when I am home though.

I just got a fabulous box of organic fruit and veggies from Good Earth Organics. They deliver organic food too your door. I think it is a little pricey. The medium size box goes for $35. You are obviously paying for the convience of it being delivered and the fact that it is organic. Because I signed up at Eat Fraser Valley I got $10 off my order and am not under any contract. I just order a box plus any other organic food they sell that I want, when I want. It is so convenient and the food is quite impressive. I know I can get it for cheaper at Thumpers but how much cheaper? Is anyone good at comparing prices? How much regular fruit and veggies could I get for $35? Would I save money in the long run by not going in to a grocery store as often? I know I buy things that I don't need EVERY time I step in to a grocery store.

Livi has started her music and movement class again. We LOVE it! The full semester of classes was our birthday present to her. She loves it so much and I love seeing her participate, play, sing, dance, jump, bang, etc... It gets me very involved too which I think is really good for the both of us.

Okay, I'm starting to get emotional as I get closer to the end of the Grey's finale. I'd better stop writing before I drip tears on the keyboard and short out the laptop!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Nightmares and Cuddles

Livi has always been a fabulous sleeper. I think she slept 5 hours straight in the hospital even! I didn't realize how amazing that was at the time. I was exhausted. I have realized since that most newborns only sleep two or three hours at a time. I will take my five hour sleeper any day! When she was around five or six months old she started giving up her middle of the night feeding and started consistently sleeping a full 12-13hours at a time while still having two over-an-hour naps during the day! I have been so blessed with this child. She still sleeps like that :)

Recently though, Livi seems to be slowly developing some sleep issues. I read that sleep issues can be genetic. I did not nap after 12 months old and when I was 18 months old I started having night terrors, terrible dreams and insomnia. Insomnia and dreams still plague me to this day. I always just assumed my bad sleeping issues were a symptom of my chaotic childhood. Livi's childhood, so far, has been very un-chaotic. She is on a set routine, Jon and I barely argue in front of her and never yell at each other. I don't generally watch violent, intense, or scary shows in front of her, especially now since she notices the TV a lot more. I'm sure she has picked up on some of our stress this past year but we have made every effort to keep her feeling as stable and safe as possible. I think we've done a pretty good job so far. Maybe too good of a job... she is such a little dare devil! So why has she been waking up from a deep sleep sweaty and crying?

A few times a week, within the first 2-4 hours of Livi sleeping, she will wake up suddenly crying and screaming. When I go and pick her up, her hair is wet (and curly) from sweat. She is immediately comforted by me, stops crying, sometimes smiles at me, and plops her head back down on my shoulder. I think the episodes have been upsetting me more than her. She would gladly be put right back down in her crib and have me leave her to sleep, but I do generally cuddle her for a few minutes... just to reassure myself :)

Has she started having night terrors already? Night terrors are very common in children, but from what I have read, generally night terrors don't start until a child is at least 2 or 3. Night terrors are defined as being abrupt anxiety filled awakenings that can have the person experiencing them screaming, crying, sweating, flailing and while generally being inconsolable for a few minutes. Livi does not flail. She is generally limp and still lying down or just starting to sit up by the time I run in to her room. She is also completely consolable. She stops crying, relaxes immediately, and returns to sleep in seconds unscathed. Are these just terrible nightmares that she is having? She is not even thirteen months old yet! What scares her?

It is really horrible. I feel so helpless. Her pathetic, scared little scream is heart wrenching and I can't run in to save her fast enough! Luckily, everything that I have read says that most children grow out of it... by adolescence! 11 more years of this?! Has anyone else experienced something like this with their kids? Is it a matter of reassuring her during the day some how? The only upset I can think of in the recent months, is that I am working occasionally now and am away from her more. These last two weeks have had me working a lot because two of the staff members at the group home I work in were getting married within a week of each other. Listen to all that 'mom guilt' coming up. Why do mom's blame themselves for every little thing that comes up with their kids? Jon thinks it has more to do with her walking so much now and realizing the world is a much bigger place than she thought. The combination of both, plus the genetic disposition, are probably the culprits. An answer to the problem doesn't make dealing with the problem any easier. Help!

The good part about her night waking is all the cuddles I've been getting! I love it! She just lays there and looks at me with her droopy eyes, burying her head in to her fuzzy on by shoulder. When I first pick her up, she sometimes gives me a scrunchy, squished smile. It is beautiful. Sometimes, even if she is sleeping soundly, I'll go in to get my cuddles. Does that make me selfish? If you had a perfect baby who gave as good cuddles as Livi does you would be a little selfish too. She is so precious.

Other than that, Livi is doing great! Her language is taking off. She babbles even more than she used to but there is so much determination and point behind her talking. She looks at me expectantly, like I understand. Her words are expanding every day. She says Mommy, Daddy, (auntie) Sess, Wow, Nana (banana or any food), Cookie, Look, and Kitty, all really clearly now! She is quite the little dancer now too. She has four or five different moves she brings out. She loves watching So You Think You Can Dance and has even started trying to copy their dance moves! It is amazing! She hasn't quite figured out how to put her dance moves together yet and can only do them one at a time. She knows where her head, nose, and belly is too. She is not too bad at sharing and she walks/runs EVERYWHERE!

Jon and I are doing well too... now :) We had a bit of a pregnancy scare. I have been like clock work for almost a year now and then this month I was three full days late! Needless to say, I was freaking out. We want a second child eventually... but not right now! Of course, we would love a second child if we get blessed earlier than planned, but I am thankful that I live in a time when medical and technological advances let me have some control over when I get pregnant again. We want to enjoy Livi as an only child for a while. I'd like to get our lives a bit more settled and I'd like to be on our way to getting a bigger home. The plan is to wait AT LEAST another year before trying to get pregnant again.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What's Around the Corner?

The summer is officially over for us. Is it really over? When does it officially end? The weather is changing and slowly getting cooler and wetter. I am holding out hope for at least one more scorching week in September though. Vacations are ending. Kids are going back to school. People are re-entering their routines. Our routine won't change all that much. The biggest thing is that I can actually put away the suit case for a while!

Lisa's wedding marked the end of all our summer adventures... but my siblings and I did sneak in one last summer fling and headed out to the zoo! That is, all my siblings, plus Livi, and minus She Who Must Not Be Named (meaning my sister who is still refusing to participate with her family). The zoo was quite fitting actually. Maggy joined our family on September 1st, 1999. Ten years ago! When we first met her a few weeks before she moved it, we all went to the zoo! Here are a few pictures of all the fun we had....

We love having Maggy as a part of our family. She is the best thing to happen to us! I will write more about her in a future post... or you can look back at a post about her on my old blog here)

 There were lots of baby animals that we got to see. Including this mommy and baby Wallaby.

Yes, I leash my child! With a leash as cute as this how could I not? The was, actually, the first time I used it and she is still a little to wobbly for it to really be effective.
Livi loved the Raptors show (picture above). She just stared and stared at the birds swooping past her. The owl swooped so low that it touched my head!

Posing for the camera! I'm imitating Livi's stressed out face. She was doing it too but we didn't quite catch it.
Livi wasn't too impressed with Uncle Sean making her look at the camera.

 Livi had only napped for about an hour in the morning but made it all day without a melt down! Her favorite animals were the monkeys and birds, probably because they were the loudest. She could relate well!

We have had a wonderful but very busy summer. We crossed Canada and back... well, at least we made it as far as Winnipeg and Vancouver Island. Livi has had quite the little life for a one year old. Too bad she won't remember any of it. Our routine won't be changing much. We don't have any one going off to school and no new jobs, although Jon is still on the look out for better opportunities. We will just be trying to relax and get in to a regular routine. We'll be concentrating on our family and trying to figure out and reach the goals we have set for ourselves.

Some of my personal goals include domesticating myself. Not completely - there is no hope for that. I want to cook more good, well-balanced dinners and bake a lot more often. I want to clean my house more regularly. I want to play with my daughter more. I want to fall more deeply and romantically in love with my husband, again. I want to read more. That's not too big of a list is it? After the last year we've had (see here to get a small recap) I'm looking at this stage in my life as a new beginning. What other option do I have, well, other than falling in to despair? Okay, maybe that is a little over dramatic, but it has been a really tough year. Our busy summer of weddings and travel is over and the cool fall rain is on its way. What's around the corner for me and my little family? Thanksgiving is in five weeks and then comes Christmas!

Yes, I DID just mention Christmas! And it is already at Costco!