Saturday, January 28, 2012

Grandma to the Rescue!

I'm starting in to my busy time at work (okay, let's be honest--it seems like it's always a busy time at work lately, but this time it's for a project that is largely my responsibility). I had to work late two nights this last week, giving presentations to nearly 600 students.  With my husband still out of the country, that left me in a bind with what to do with Ella on those evenings. 

Luckily, my mom was an anxious to see Ella, as I was to find someone to watch her.  So I picked up my mom from the airport late Wednesday afternoon, picked up Ella from daycare, handed her off to my mom, and went back to work.  My mom said that she gave one little complaint as they drove away, but was totally fine after that.  She was asleep by the time I got home.  Sadly, she was still asleep when I left the next morning!  But my mom brought her in for a Chinese New Year celebration at her new school, and we then had lunch together. 

The last time that Ella saw my mom was in September for her birthday and baptism, but she either remembers her or has just done really well adjusting to her.  She even hopped off my lap and chose to go to my mom at one point yesterday.  She does the sign for Grandma when my mom isn't in the room.  It really makes me happy to see her bonding with my mom.  It's hard having them in California, but we make the most of our time when we are together.

I always knew that my mom would be a wonderful grandmother.  From her work as a Marriage and Family Therapist, she is so wise about reading others--especially children.  She has been teaching Ella all sorts of new songs and games.  Now I just need to try to remember all of the lyrics so I can continue to sing them to her!

Today's blessing was getting a text from my friend and colleague letting me know that her beta levels more than doubled in 48 hours.  She also suffers from PCOS (and also doesn't fit the normal symptoms), and has let me share my journey with her; and her journey with me.  I know I shared previously that I was sad when my very-dear friend shared with me that she was pregnant, but I felt different this time with my colleague.  I was so genuinely excited for her when she told me that she was pregnant, and it gives me hope that I won't always be a jealous person.  Please keep this friend in your prayers, as I know how fragile life can be.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I was reproached today for keeping Ella with me in church.  I believe that the woman genuinely thought that she was being helpful by offering her advice.  I admit--I was hurt by her words, so much that it made me feel sick to my stomcach until I had a chance to talk to another friend (and mom) about it.  But I wanted to get the feedback of others--moms, friends, anyone. 

The woman--who has two college-aged daughters--approached me after the service under the premise of concern for me that I wasn't able to focus during church because I was trying to keep Ella entertained.  She suggested that the church has a wonderful nursery--which they most definitely do...but Ella hates it.  We tried the nursery a couple of times, and Ella cried the whole time.  I shared this with the woman, and she argued that it's important for children to have some time apart from their parents, and we show them that we love them by always coming back for them.  I shared that Ella is in daycare during the week, so she understands that I come back for her everyday.  It probably didn't help the situation that one of her daughters works in the nursery every other week, and I admit that I actually used the word "hate" to describe Ella's feelings towards the place.  She carried on a bit about how faith is such an important thing, and how I need to role model this to Ella as she grows up.  And I do definitely agree that faith is important, so I thanked her for her feedback and tried to make a graceful getaway.

I will be the first to admit that Ella is a handful in church.  She definitely knows how to "make a joyful noise until the Lord".  I recognize that I do spend a good amount of time trying to keep her occupied.  But it boils down to this:  I want to worship with my child.  I want her to know the people who pray for us.  I want her to grow up knowing the praise songs.  I want her to recognize that church and Christ are a big part of our lives.

But I don't want to be selfish.  I don't want to simply keep her with me just so that I can hold my little miracle in my arms while praising and thanking God for her.  I don't want to distract from other worshipers.  I don't want to contain her, if she truly would be happier playing with other kids in the nursery. 

I'm not a perfect mom, but I want to be a good mom.  And I want to be a good wife and church member and citizen.  So what do I do?  The nasty part of me wants to refuse to bring Ella to the nursery just to spite the other woman, but I don't think that's the answer.  I don't know if she approached me out of genuine concern for my spiritual nourishment, or if it's that Ella is distracting her from learning in church, or if she just thinks that I should do it the way that she did it because her way worked for her.  If it is that Ella is just too distracting, then I wish that she would just come right out and say "your kid is too loud, please take them to the nursery".  That would have hurt, but I would have known that it was dead-honest (with that being said, if you attend our church and you think that this is the truth, you have my permission to tell me so).

Anyone?  Thoughts?  Opinions?  How do you balance keeping a joyful 16-month old joyful while still growing in your own faith and helping others to do the same?

Today's blessing was my very-dear friend who justified my feelings and assured me that she would have "unleashed wrath" if the woman had addressed her and her two-weeks-younger-than-Ella little boy.  It was just what I needed to hear to make that nasty feeling in my stomach go away.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I Just Realized...

...that I never shared any pictures from our trip to Montana!
As the youngest grandchild, Ella had the responsibility of putting the Baby Jesus in the manger. 

Her cousin Miranda was so wonderful about playing with Ella, and watched her on New Year's Eve so we could go out.

We had a gorgeous sunrise every single morning. 

Ella "ice skates" on the frozen reservoir on the family ranch.

Warming up with dad.

Cousin Kyle, who crocheted the hat that Ella is wearing as his gift for her.

Is Miranda not the most beautiful 13-year old you've ever seen?  She's caring, clever, and talented too!

Ella LOVED playing with the dogs, and I loved watching her confidence around them grow.

We finally took her "Christmas Picture" the day we were packing up to head home.
Today's blessing was that I got to talk to my husband (who is in Korea).  We're trying to Skype each morning, but he's still adjusting to the time difference, so 6:00 in the morning for me is 10:00 at night for him.  I didn't get to talk to him yesterday, and it really made me sad.  Ella woke up early this morning, but I turned it into an opportunity to snuggle in bed with her and talk to him.  I would have preferred to snuggle in bed with both of them to start my morning, but I'll take what I can get.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

On Second Thought...

In my previous post, I shared that I was 1% disappointed that my cycle came back, just in time for my husband to leave for a month in Korea again.  On second thought, I'm starting to realize that God's timing couldn't be more perfect. 

The scientist in me is curious to find out what this cycle will be like.  Okay, so I'm not really that much of a scientist, but I value education, and I have tried to educate myself the best I can about fertility.  If I got a cycle, that would imply that I ovulated. But when--I have no idea.  Or perhaps it was just "time" for my body to bleed, and was triggered by stopping breastfeeding, rather than ovulation.  Who knows?  All I know is that this month away from my husband will give me the chance to better understand what my cycle will be like after a successful pregnancy. 

So yeah--my husband left this morning for another month in Korea.  He'll return mid-February, which seems far away, but things are so busy at work that I'm hoping the time will fly by.  My mom will come out for a few days as well, so that will help give me something to which to look forward.  I feel for Ella.  When he was gone for a month over the summer, I don't think that she really noticed all that much that he was gone.  But she gets it now.  She asks for Dada all the time, and I love seeing her face light up when we come home to him or find him in his office.  Now, I have to explain that flew on an airplane and he's working far away.  She'll sign "airplane" and "work" back to me, so I know she comprehends it, to some extent.  I guess that's what Skype is for, right?

Today's blessing was that my husband's flight to San Francisco landed safely.  He said that about 30 minutes into the flight, the captain explained that they were having some problems with the landing gear.  They were instructed on and practiced how to brace for an emergency landing, and there were ambulance and police waiting when they arrived.  But everything went smooth enough, and he's now somewhere over the Pacific.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Call me crazy, but I'm super excited to share that I just got my cycle back!

Okay, so I admit that I'm about 1% disappointed that I wasn't part of that special club of women who get pregnant while still breastfeeding; and I'm perhaps 1% disappointed that it came back now, right before my husband leaves for another month in Korea.  But that still leaves me a whopping 98% excited that it's back!

I'm so blessed that it came back so quickly after I stopped nursing Ella.  I was giving myself a month to not worry about it, but God brought it back within five days!  Woohoo!! 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Year, New School, New Routine, New Plans

We flew back from Montana last Tuesday night, and I headed back to work first thing on Wednesday morning.  That day, Ella also started at a new school.  For the most part, we were very happy with the care she received at her other daycare, but the care provider that we liked the most (and who loved Ella the most) was let go.  I guess that was kind of our tipping point, and we were lucky enough to get into another school that is supposed to be great with language development, and is also pretty close to my work.  The other little girl who is three days older than Ella moved over as well, so they can still be friends and play together.  So far, both girls have cried each morning when we leave, but the teachers assure us that they do just fine throughout the rest of the day.  I hope the crying stops as they begin to feel more and more comfortable there.

Now that we made it home from our travels, my husband and I agree that it's time to stop breastfeeding.  Last night was the first night that I put Ella to bed without nursing her.  She signed for milk as I was putting her pajamas on, but didn't have a meltdown when I told her that the milk was all done.  We're going to have to work on a new evening routine, as nursing was always the last thing that we did before she went down.  I'll miss this time with her, but I think it's time.

I appreciate that my husband had a very open discussion with me about stopping nursing and starting trying again.  So often, he'll just say "do whatever you think is right"...which is nice and all, but sometimes I want him to truly be part of the decision.  As I nursed her for the last time on Thursday night, he shared that he's truly ready to try again, and he thinks it's time to stop.  I appreciate his honesty, and it's nice to feel that we're on the same page.  (But gosh, will I miss that special nursing time with her).

So, I guess that means that we are officially trying for another baby.  Or, perhaps I should say, "we are officially waiting for my cycle to return so that we can start officially trying for another baby".  This time feels a little bit different than it did in Fall 2009 when we were trying for Ella, and it feels a heck of a lot different than it did in Summer 2007 when I first went off birth control.  So much has changed; so much of it, for the better.

Today's blessing is not having a headache.  Since going back to work, I was fighting a dull, lingering headache for the last couple of days.  I think maybe I needed a vacation from my vacation.  But now that it's the weekend and I have a chance to relax and catch up a bit, I'm feeling like I'm back to normal and ready for all that is ahead in this new year.