Saturday, November 29, 2008

Still Here

We debated going home a day early because we arrived early. However, we opted to stay. A lot of times, it's stressfull to spend a lot of time with my grandma. She's kind of like a little kid in a lot of ways, but a little kid who is an old person we're supposed to honor, respect and find the fount of all wisdom. At least, she thinks so.

In her favor, she is a generous grandparent and loves to play games. So, those are nice things.

However, she was not a generous parent. Her children bore the burden of being her kids. She's not always nice and, when they were kids, often not affectionate. That's sort of funny because she's almost overly affectionate now.

I didn't get along with her very well as a child, but then I did fine with her as a young adult. It was easy to put her in perspective. After all, she was only my grandparent and I could accept her foibles. They didn't play a large part in shaping who I was.

Once Davan was born, though, I had a hard time with her again. Well, it started more like when Davan was a preschooler and I felt the need to sheild her. Now, it's just starting to get a little easier. Davan is older and coming into her own to some extent. I still don't want her damaged, of course, but she's less easily damaged now.

My aunt, this trip, has, independently, brought up the need to shelter Davan from Grandma. Yeah, true, but for me, the need isn't as pressing. Mostly Grandma feels like she doesn't have a lot of teeth anymore to me.

My mom and aunt are both stressed. They are stressed by the death of their daddy already and Grandma still isn't easy to be around. Actually, my mom feels more or less normal about Grandma. I really think my aunt is mad at her about how things went at the end. Either way, both are ready to leave, but feel obligated to stay until Sunday.

Me? I'm okay. My family is okay. We're not too stressed. We're going to stay and help be buffers. It's something we feel like we can do. Even though it'll be tough to drive all day and then have Anthony go to work on Monday and work a full week before we leave for Florida on Saturday.

I've run every day except for Thanksgiving day and today, so far, but I still plan on going. On Thanksgiving, I did DDR for about an hour, so I got in a workout then, too. I've done yoga on two different days and I've gotten in some stretching most other days. In addition, "my" family - Anthony, Davan, my mom and stepdad and I - have all gotten out for a walk twice. I feel like the exercise has helped to keep the stress down.

Anthony and I also took Davan out to play mini golf yesterday afternoon, which was a fun interlude.

So, we're still here and we're still doing okay. Grandma will leave for Florida (and an aunt's house) shortly after we all leave for our respective homes. For those few days, she'll have the support of her friends and neighbors, whom have been stopping by and, as Grandma tells us constantly, have offered any help she needs.

Everyone will get through.

I finally felt sad last night. I was thinking about Grandpa's card money. He and Grandma used to play a family game that is similar to Skipbo every afternoon for small money - coins such. Grandma loved the game, but Grandpa seemed to mostly play for Grandma's sake, although he'd say that it kept both their brains sharp to play. He'll never use his card money again. He'll never fed the birds again, which was a great joy to him. He'll never order ribs without sauce again.

We moved into the back bedroom from our tent yesterday. The back bedroom is where Grandpa was, where we kept vigil. Davan hadn't been in there since he died. Anthony and I took her in there before we moved in and she cried. I think that's what started making me feel sad.

It's mild, though, really. He was 87 and had been going downhill for a while. It was his time. I can live with that and know it's really okay.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Oh, Family is Fun

I'd like to blog about some things, but the computer is in a quite public space. Suffice it to say that it's interesting to be with family for extended periods.
I was born in Minnesota. My mom was noticeably pregnant with me when my family moved to Minnesota from California. We moved back to California when I was only 6 months old. My parents were having a hard time being away from family. We moved close to my grandparents. Thus, my association with my grandpa began.

My first memory of him is...well, I'm not totally sure. An early one that stands out, though, was when I was about 4 probably. He spanked me. Not too hard. Not over the knee, but a spanking. We were in a parking lot and I have no idea what I wanted or was trying to do, but he had my hand in one of his and I was struggling. He reached over and swatted me a couple of times on the rear, then he, Grandma and I walked into wherever it was we were walking into. When I told my mom about this when we were reunited, she told me that I must have been being pretty bad if Grandpa spanked me. He was the more patient one between my grandparents.

I saw that again, when Davan was young. The patience, not the spanking. Grandma would get frustrated with the "special" care that Davan needed, but Grandpa put up for her, saying that she was a neat kid and even helped to provide special care for her.

As Grandpa got older, though, he didn't interact as well with Davan. The last few visits with him proved to be tension causing for Davan, at least. When Max was with us, he showed a marked preference for him. He has always liked the boys real well. The one grandson is something pretty special to him. Max, then, while he was with us, was the only boy in his generation. We all have our quirks. I was worried about how Grandpa would feel about the disruption, but, when he learned that we were worried for our continued safety, he just wanted to know, "How soon can he be moved out?" It turns out we were his first priority after all.

Grandpa liked to fish. I remember going fishing with him and Grandma on a summer visit, after I'd moved to Colorado with my mom, which happened when I was 7. We went to the beach and fished off a pier. I was the only one to catch a keeper that day, which was pretty exciting. I really disliked fish, though. Grandpa prepared it and proudly served it to a friend who came to dinner that night. There was really only enough for one. I felt pretty special.

My mom felt like she wanted to do a better job of parenting than her mom. She set out to do so. It was hard, though, to do something different. You really have to think about it and try so as to not just fall into the parenting practices that you grew up with. Mom, though, at some point, realized that she did have a good example. Her dad.

My step dad spoke about Grandpa as an example yesterday to me. He said that it was hard for the boys because they had this man to live up to. "The boys" being those young men who dated my mom and her sisters. He said Grandpa never did take them aside and say to them, "This is what you need to do," but he was always leading by example. Honestly, seeing how most of my mom's and her sister's marriages turned out, I'm not sure that whole deal worked out real well, but Dennis still felt like Grandpa was a good example. He says that over the last few years, the catch phrase at their house was, "What would Daddy do?"

Grandpa always took spectacular, uncomplaining care of Grandma, who is a very high needs woman. For the last 20 years or so, she's been practically bedridden and Grandpa waited on her hand and foot. It turns out, though, that things weren't so serious for Grandma, who started on quite the recovery when Grandpa started going downhill. Still, though, Grandpa only praised her for what she was able to do.

Both of my grandparents have always valued family highly, especially Grandpa. They always wanted to do what they could to take care of all of us. Until recently, but for the last decade or more, they've been in a financial position to help the grandchildren out. My cousins and I are all adults now, but we've all benefited from the grandparents.

In addition to generous monetary birthday and Christmas gifts, we can thank my grandparents for a year of diaper service for Davan, a year of cell phone service for me when Davan was older and they didn't like the idea of us driving around by ourselves without the ability to call for help, plane tickets to come visit them and many, many meals out with them.

In addition to the monetary help, though, it's been a priority for them to spend time with family. They always, but always welcome a visit from family and it's totally fine if we bring some friends along, too. They have had a reputation for being great hosts for many years, cooking up a meal or preparing a bed cheerfully for all comers. When I was stationed nearby while in the Army, they welcomed my friends and I for any weekends we could get away.

To be honest, the overwhelming personality in the house as I was growing up was Grandma's. She smothered us grandchildren when she could and was also so obnoxious that one of the family much repeated stories is of me kicking her in the shin and a small child. Grandpa was off at work or just sort of around, from my perspective, as a child. As I grew into an adult, though, I knew that Grandpa was the calming influence, the person that kept everything together and in perspective.

Grandpa made Anthony feel very welcome. He always had something to talk to Anthony about. Anthony enjoyed his company. Anthony thinks that visits to Grandma will be much harder without Grandpa around to balance her out.

Grandpa was a wood pile sort of man for a very long time. He worked hard at creating his woodpile and keeping the house warm with it. I respect how much Grandpa just kept going for so very long. Not only with the woodpile, but with yard work, house work, walking from the car into a restaurant (which Grandma has refused to do for a long time), going to the grocery store - everything. He told us about a year ago when we visited and he was starting to really seem frail, that it might take him a while, but he could get there. We were sure rooting for him.

Grandpa died yesterday at 11:15. It was my birthday, too. That's okay. It won't ruin my birthday forever or anything. I was glad that he passed. It would have been better if he hadn't had to face a decline into frailty and, eventually, bedrest and only rare rational moments, but, as that did happen, it was best that he didn't have to linger too long like that. He wouldn't have wanted to. He always wanted the end to be fast. It wasn't as fast as I think he'd have liked, but he was done with living and he just shut down. It is good it happened while we were all here to take care of him. Grandma just wasn't up to the job, nor was really facing what it would be like after we all went back to our homes for her to try to take care of him. I'm thankful no one had to face that situation.

Today is Thanksgiving. We'll be having our Thanksgiving dinner as planned with a pre made meal from Wild Oats. While people are sad, we're also relieved. We're still carrying on. We've had time to prepare and Grandpa had lived a long, happy life. It is what it is.

Anthony and I are planning to die together in a car crash when we're 105 and just starting our decline (okay, we'll stretch to older if we haven't declined yet by then). That would be a lot easier than one of us going first or having a lingering decline. Davan will be sad, but at 80, I think she'll survive without us.

Goodbye Grandpa. Thanks for creating my family.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Silver Falls State Park

Before the sudden rush to come down, we did get in our camping trip this weekend. It was really great. We did 15 miles of hiking over Saturday and Sunday, staying in a cabin over night. The Trail of Ten Falls was great, with three falls that we got to hike behind. We did the whole loop plus spurs, for a total of about 8 miles.

The cabin was cute and little and warm. We played games in the evening and then woke up Sunday to my "observed" birthday. The actual day is today, but I'm quite glad we observed it already because no one really remembers it's today with all that is going on.

We had a feast day Sunday with Peanut Butter Panda Puffs with chocolate soy milk and nitrate free turkey bacon for breakfast, before we went off on Sunday's hike. We hiked only about 7 miles on Sunday, but they were much harder miles, with lots of elevation change and mud, causing lots of slipping. While there weren't any falls on Sunday's hike, there also weren't any people, which was nice. We never saw another hiker.

We went back to the small historic lodge and one repeat waterfall to go behind before heading home. We had dinner out with my parents for my birthday, during which I made my stomach hurt. I'm still recovering. And tomorrow is another feast day. Maybe I'll be more careful with tummy trouble going into it.

It was a great weekend, with good hikes. I'm really glad we still went.

In California

We decided to come to California early to be with my family. We left Monday morning, after deciding to come Sunday night at 9:00. I even slept pretty close to a full night for me. I did have a busy few hours, pulling it all together, though, followed by 12 hours of driving with few breaks because we didn't want to get in too late nor stop and have to either pay for a hotel or set up the tent and take it down again.

It's good we came. Grandpa is still alive as of right now, but the end is near. I'm sitting with him now, listening to the long pauses in breathing that are becoming more and more frequent. It's sad to see my grandpa like this. He did not want to linger. He always wanted the end to be quick. Who doesn't, really?

It's nice to have so much of the family here. Someone is with Grandpa all the time, often several of us. We talk and play games here in his room. I think hearing us is good.

I've run both mornings that we've been here, which is good. I need to keep up the movement with all the sitting I'm doing most of the time.

We're so lucky to have two nurses in the family. Actually, both work in other fields now, but they have the training and are good with taking care of Grandpa. We turn him often to try to prevent bed sores. We talk to him and hold his hands. And we hope that he doesn't have to continue on in this state that he wouldn't like for too long.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

In Which I Whine

I really wanted to watch either an Angel or a Buffy episode tonight. Anthony, though, is whooped this week and won't want to stay up late. He's reading to Davan for the first time this week and hasn't showered yet, thus, no Buffy (I think that's what we're on). Sigh.

Davan also stayed home sick from gymnastics tonight and I don't think she really was. I'm feeling bitchy about that, too.

Whine, whine, whine.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Our Thanksgiving Plans

Our original plan for this Thanksgiving was deliver Thanksgiving meals for Meals on Wheels and then have dinner with my parents. We were going to order a premade meal from Wild Oats and just have a nice, quite, relaxing weekend.

Last month, though, my parents visited my grandparents. My step dad, particularly, talked a lot about how my grandpa isn't doing very well. He's lost a lot of weight recently and sleeps a lot of the day away, even when there is company.

My family and I made the decision to go see my grandparents over Thanksgiving. We were supposed to see them when we're in Florida next month, but we knew we wouldn't see a lot of them because we're also doing Disneyworld and staying near the resort. We were all supposed to go to a wedding at the resort, but that event fell through. In addition, my step dad said that he didn't think Grandpa was going to be up for going.

We took a look at our calendar and Thanksgiving was the time when we had time, so we called them up and invited ourselves. They were happy about it. My parents opted to come along, as well as two of my aunts and an uncle (married to one of the aforementioned aunts).

Then, a couple of weeks ago, Grandpa ended up in the hospital. The crux of the situation is that he's not eating anymore. There was talk of a feeding tube. Grandpa didn't want one, though. Well, he was a little iffy about it when he was in the hospital, but he was very clear about it in his living will. That's why people do those things, right? If he'd been adamant that he wanted a feeding tube, the family would have chosen to give him one. As it is, though, the decision to not go with the feeding tube was made.

Grandpa is back home now. One aunt is staying with him and Grandma. It's hard. He's not always lucid. He doesn't eat unless fed, which has stopped now. He's in pain. He has pain meds, but he's still in pain. He can't get up anymore. He is presented with food, but he doesn't choose to eat. I think not feeding him is the right thing, if he doesn't want it. But, it does mean that the end is neigh.

I'm thinking that Grandpa may not make it until Thanksgiving. We may have to go down early for his funeral instead. I feel a little sad about the strong possibility of not making it for a visit before he dies. I almost wonder if we should just get in the car and go.

Would he get much out of a visit? It sounds like he probably wouldn't from the reports we're getting. And it would be difficult to be there, particularly for Davan. She's not overly close with him and, while sad that he is dying, isn't fretful about not seeing him.

Anthony has work. Davan has gymnastics. We're supposed to camp this weekend. We're having my birthday celebration while camping. Should we go on with our plans? Should we not? I don't know, honestly. I know we can't miss all of that stuff indefinitely and we don't know how long Grandpa will make it.

And, through all of this, I can't believe that Grandpa didn't stick to his word. He told us that it wasn't going to happen that he'd die before Grandma. He promised it wouldn't come to that. He said he'd "take care of it" if that were the way it was seeming to go. Now he's too far gone and Grandma isn't showing any signs of going first. Geez, we can't count on that man for anything, it seems. What the heck are we going to do with Grandma after this!?!?! (It's called dark humor, people. Although, Grandpa really did promise. Sigh.)

Telling People Part 2

It's been four months now since Max moved out. I'm finding I still have people to tell about the adoption disrupting. It's still not easy.

As I've mentioned before, sometimes I just tell people who weren't around during the Max times that he was a foster child. It's more or less the truth, as we never did adopt him. Sure, that was our intention, but it didn't happen. It's a lot easier than getting into the whole thing.

However, I'm finding that I'm still having people pop up in our lives who need to be actually told. There is a group of homeschoolers that we haven't spent time with lately, but that we spent time with regularly about a year ago. Mostly, that's a schedule thing. Also, though, the kids are younger than Davan and were more age mates for Max. So, we haven't really been seeking them out, either.

I'd been thinking that maybe I should leave the lists for that group - a vacation one and a homeschool discussion one - but I hadn't done anything about it. Today one of the members emailed me to let me know there was a poll for next year's vacation together.

These ladies are all really nice. I've enjoyed the time I've spent with them. However, they are also all spread out over the Portland metro area and all of their kids are not only younger, but predominantly boys. Davan has enjoyed the company of several of the babies, but gets along less well the the troop of boys a few years younger than her. The reality is that the group just isn't a great match for us anymore.

I thanked the mom that emailed and let her know that we would be passing. I occurred to me to just leave it at that, but that didn't really seem fair. So, I also let her know that we disrupted the adoption. It was hard to write and send the email. I'm a little on pins and needles, wondering how she'll take it, if she'll write back, knowing it'll be discussed amongst the group even if I never hear anything about it, wondering what they'll think of me.

Every time I have to tell someone, I feel anxious and defensive. Still, I know it was the right decision, so why? I'm still judging myself to some extent, that's why. I promised this little boy that it would be forever and then I sent him away. Yeah. I still feel badly about that.

Every day, though, I am thankful for the calmness of my family, even with things are wild, there is a calmness to us. I'm thankful that the worst I have to deal with, child behavior-wise is Davan's extreme sensitivity and probably clinical anxiety. And, hey, that's certainly a challenge. It's a challenge I'm willing and able to take on, though, if for no other reason than my love of Davan and my bond with her.

The bond that never did come with Max. I still really hope he finds it somewhere.


Often we don't get around to eating breakfast until about 10:00. We get up around 8:00, do chores, do yoga and then do breakfast. It's our first meal of the day, so I suppose it's breakfast, even if it's occurring at a time that most people would call brunch or, perhaps their second coffee break.

Here's the issue, though. We often end up eating breakfast and lunch in quick succession. Or, lunch is put off until 3:00 or so. The problem with these scenarios is that, frequently, I'm eating a meal that I'm not really hungry for. So why do I eat it?

Well, if it's the eating lunch at 3:00 option, it's because I'm quite hungry for lunch and then I feel like I should eat dinner, especially if it's a night that we're all home.

If I eat lunch quickly after breakfast, it's usually because I'm worried I'll be hungry later or not have enough fuel to get me through swimming. Sometimes I'm actually hungry and I figure that's okay. But, often I'm just eating to get the meal in, even if I'm not hungry.

None of this is a big deal for Davan. She's pretty much just always hungry, it seems, and pretty much would enjoy a nearly constant food offering. If we're not eating meals within a couple of hours of each other, she needs snacks. Her snacks resemble other people's meals. She, I'm certain, eats more than I do. If, though, she's not as hungry when a meal is offered, she just doesn't eat as much. Or she'll occasionally say, "No, thanks," to a snack.

For me, though, I keep thinking something has to change. I've though of a few plans, as it were.

A) Just skip breakfast, as it's practically lunch time by the time I eat it anyway. The downfall to this one is that it's really hard to feed Davan and not eat. I guess, actually, that's part of the whole issue, really. But, it's particularity hard at 10:00 when I'm hungry.

B) Either skip lunch or just have some raw veggies in it's place. This is really what I should do most of the time, I think.

C) Have something very small or, at least, very low calorie at breakfast. I did this one this morning. I made Davan a typical (for us) blueberry smoothie loaded up with peanut butter and all of it's good stuff. What didn't fit in her smoothie cup (think about the size of a Jamba Juice large), I kept in the blender as a basis for my smoothie. There was only a smidgen left - maybe a half a cup. I added about 3 cups of leftover salad (just Romain and spinach), three tangerines and a tablespoon or so of flax meal. It was more of a blended salad than a smoothie, but I got to eat and I am already hungry for lunch.

Mostly, though, I need to not eat when I'm not hungry. This is a hard one for me because I really enjoy eating. However, it's not healthy to eat when one isn't hungry. I can see that and, even in the moment, I can tell myself, "I'm eating just because this tastes good/I'm bored/I'm stressed/it's here/it's 'time to eat'/I want to be polite/Davan's eating/whatever." I'm good at seeing that reason. What I'm not good at then not eating when it's not about hunger.

All of this is helped by the fact that I mostly eat very healthy foods. That's a good thing. However, even with healthy stuff, it's not good to eat more than my body needs.

For now, though, swimming is fast approaching and I need to fit in lunch (!) and a trip to the post office. By-the-by, if you wanted the Mazda, you're out of luck. ;) We sold it Monday evening. Yay!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Davan's Do Jump Debut

Davan's Do Jump class ended last night with a 20 minute show she and her class mates pretty much self designed with some guidance from the instructors. It was pretty darn fun to watch. And, if I do say so myself, Davan was a stand out. I do believe I'd have said so even if she weren't my kid. She and her partner, H, did some of the most dynamic passes and trapeze work of the show.

Everyone did a great job and all the kids seemed to really enjoy themselves. It was so great to see. Davan reported after that she was less nervous than before a fun meet for gymnastics and that the show was about the same in regards to enjoyment as compared with a fun meet.

My mom called this morning to sign her up for the session of classes starting in January and heard that the main instructor had given her a very strong review for her class work, pretty much allowing her to have her pick of classes to take next. She's currently signed up for an advanced 8+ class, but it's possible she'll get moved because her instructor was also interested in having her work with older kids.

All-in-all, it was a very fun and moral/ego boosting experience for Davan and she told me how sad she was that she didn't get to do it anymore (shhh! It's a Christmas present that my mom signed her up for more).

I totally forgot to get the camera out at all last night, even though I'd intended to take it to the show. I didn't even get a picture of her hair do. The content of the show was kept a surprise because that's how Davan wanted it. I asked her before if she wanted her hair done in any special way and she said, yes, she wanted three braids - two on the sides and one in the back. Okay....I did as requested and then had her go look in the mirror to see if she was happy with the results. Yup - just what she'd wanted.

It turns out that she and H were jesters at one point - one of my favorite parts - and the hair style was so she'd be in character. :)

It's funny that I was so mad at Do Jump for not working with us about Davan's scheduling at the beginning of the session. I'm still irked about that, honestly, but it was such an awesome experience for Davan that I'm willing to overlook it. Also, I know now that it would have been better to talk to the instructors. I know her head instructor would have worked with us. Still...they should have been more willing to work things out then. Ah well.

I think it'd be really fun if Davan did join the performance troop next year. I think it'd be a fun experience for her and I think going to see her shows would be a treat. I think that the co-operative side of Do Jump would be a much better match for Davan's personality than the ultra competitive gymnastics. I also know, though, that Davan would be sad to give up the bars, particularly, from the gymnastics side. Is trapeze enough of a draw to pull her away? I don't know. It's something that will be decided later.

For now, she loved the class and the performance was fun for all. What more could one ask for?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Morning

We started our morning with our usual Sunday morning breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes and lots of fruit. We had a nice leisurely breakfast, highlighted with a lot of laughing at the cats. Before, during and after, we've answered email and phone calls about various things we have up for sale. In addition to the Mazda, Anthony is cleaning out the garage including an old nonfunctioning Porsche engine and parts from a motorcycle. We've got people coming at various times to check things out.

After breakfast and clean up, I challenged Davan to a hand stand contest. Hand stand hold times are something she could improve on for gymnastics, but doesn't work on on her own, so I thought I'd do it with her and make it just fun. We had a blast. We did a straight hand stand hold, okay to walk with your hands, okay to move your legs around and then went on to how far can you walk, at which point Anthony got in on the action, as well.

I held my own on the how long can you hold a hand stand contest, but Davan and Anthony whooped all over me on the how far can you walk contest, being tied for a long time before Anthony pulled out a spectacular walk and won the title, although it has to be said that his form left something to be desired...

Then Davan suggested a long jump contest using the mini-tramp.

This one of Davan is one of my two favorites from this morning's photo shoot:

The three of us all about tied on the long jump contest. The shoes and socks that are out are marking each person's longest hand stand walk or jump to date. The clog that is way in the rear? Yeah, that's my hand stand walk. At this point, Davan and Anthony were tied for the hand stand walk and we were all about even on the long jump.

Davan then suggested a game they play for vault drills at gymnastics.

Those two pads get further apart each after each person makes their jump. This next picture is my other favorite:

I barely won this contest, eking out the win from Anthony who hung his toes over the first pad on the last jump that we made. Davan was out on the distance just before.

How's your Sunday going?

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Davan and I headed out today on foot toward her gym for open gym. We were only about five minutes from home when she decided that she didn't want to go after all. You see, I'd explained to her that she had two options for what I'd do at open gym to prevent open gym meltdowns. She could choose spectator or coach.

The spectator option meant that I'd just watch while she did her thing - whatever it was that she wanted to do. The coach option meant that I'd direct her open gym time. "Okay, warm up on the tumble tramp. Let's go do rings," and so on. What we've been doing is me trailing after her with her saying kind of whiny (it's the tone) things like, "My kip isn't good today" and "I don't know what to do now."

She decided that neither option was good and opted to come back home, instead. Now, I'd told her of this plan last night and she seemed alright with it, but, apparently, she'd forgotten and when I asked her as we walked, "So, spectator or coach today?" that was that for going to open gym.

After we returned back home and she had a good cry, she asked if it was too late to go. I said that we could still go if we rode the bike and she was up for that. So, we hopped on the tandem and rode over. I'd really been in the mood for walking, but, at least we didn't hop in the car.

I found this great local (well, Portland) bike shop that is also helping people not hop in their cars. It's called Clever Cycles and, if you like bikes, I'd check it out. They have a blog (which is political at the moment) and several of their offered bikes on line. I've seen this one once and ones with conversions like this one several times around town.

Meanwhile, we're finally trying to get rid of our second vehicle. When we first bought the Toyota Sienna minivan, we were planning on selling the Mazda. However, it was really nice to have two cars when we had two kids. We were often going in different directions at the same time and, while we maybe could have made some alternatives work, it would have been quite difficult. We do live in suburbia.

Once Max moved out, we started talking about selling the minivan. There are only three of us and the Mazda gets better gas mileage. However, even before Max, we had trouble fitting all of our camping gear into the Mazda. So, we then thought about selling both vehicles and buying a station wagon. We were going to start with the minivan.

My mom, though, asked what sort of gas mileage we'd expect with a station wagon. After doing some research, we realized that it was not enough better than the van to justify changing vehicles. Besides, we really like the van and it is very nice to have for hauling both people and stuff. So, we are now selling the Mazda and keeping the van. If you want a reasonably priced, reliable car, feel free to check out the listing.

Now, though, we will have one vehicle to our name and it doesn't get the best ever gas mileage. Well, we actually also have a motorcycle and a project car - a Porsche 914 - that doesn't even have an engine to our names, as well. Both Anthony and I have motorcycle licenses and, while we have taken Davan on the motorcycle (each individually, not all three together), it is 1) large for me and, thus not overly safe for me to ride with Davan and 2) not a comfortable passenger cycle.

We have discussed the possibility of buying a smaller motorcycle or a scooter for me and Davan to use regularly. That could happen. I'm not seeing it in the immediate future, though.

In keeping with our budget, environmental feelings and health, we will be making an effort to leave the van at home when possible. We won't make ourselves miserable, but when possible, I'll be riding Davan to gymnastics. We'll be walking or riding to the library and for other errands. We will try to keep to a minimum those activities that require driving.

These have all been our goals in the past and, for good stretches of time, we're able to meet them. However, it's so easy to just hop in the car and so we often do that. It was easy to sign Davan up for two different classes that are not in feasible biking distance. It was so, so easy to not walk or bike when Max was here, as he really dug his heals in about it. It is not the path of least resistance to walk or bike. That's okay, but it makes it difficult to stay on track sometimes.

I won't be buying a bike from Clever Cycle, although I do so like them. We have our tandem and it works fine. Maybe the longtail makeover on the tandem...that'd be convenient for running errands...I could put it on my wish list, at least. But, it's not a planned expense because we have what we need to make using the bike workable.

And, if you're wondering, open gym turned out to work well. I was a spectator and Davan did her thing and we left without me feeling like I'd been through the wringer. In fact, I enjoyed watching. For a change, Davan helped me peddle up the hill back home, too. Usually, I've dropped her off and when I go back to get her, I take the car because it's late and dark when she's done. That might change when the weather is nicer and it's light later. We'll see. For now, I'm happy if I've done one of the trips on the bike.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Meeting with Barbara

Anthony and I had a debriefing with Barbara this afternoon. She wanted to rehash how we felt about everything, what could have been done differently at what juncture, how we were doing now and if we wanted to give adoption another go.

It was...interesting. Barbara, of course, doesn't really remember things, so it was like it was all new to her, even though we shared very little that was new.

She was very supportive of our efforts and how well we'd done for so long in a difficult situation. She would be willing to work with us again. She felt like we gave her some really good feedback.

We did not get any updated information about Max. She did tell us a little more detail about the first placement, which was just that it didn't last very long because, apparently, his high activity level was just too much for them. She doesn't know, though, if he's settled in another family or has been through more than one more foster family.

She shared with us the results of the testing that was done just as he was moving out. He is a smart kid, but he has a sever discrepancy from his other IQ scores in processing, especially if there is a time pressure. He earned the title RAD. He shows ADHD-type symptoms. He presents as a depressed child. He has sensory issues. None of this surprises me, although I don't think he has ADHD. I believe that it's his emotional issues that are causing the ADHD-type symptoms. Maybe with this evaluation and diagnoses, he'll get the help he needs.

I'm feeling a little sad in the aftermath of this meeting. I'm not sad that we opted to disrupt. I'm so thankful that we made that decision. I can't imagine continuing to try to live with the stress and anguish we were living with. However, I'm sad it didn't all turn out differently. I'm sad that we didn't find a good match. I'm sad that our one foray into adoption turned out to be such a mess. I'm sad that Max had to go through another loss and another setback in his short life. I'm sad that we weren't able to keep our promise that this was forever.

I'm so, so glad that the nightmare of actually living with him is over, though. I don't regret making that choice at all. Even if that makes me a bad person in some peoples' eyes. I'm glad there are people out there who can take on the challenge of a child like Max. I sure hope he finds those people.

Pre-Teen Girl Meanness and Popular Culture

Okay. You're about to hear me confess to something homeschoolers would like to keep a lid on. My child is not properly socialized. Yup. It's true. You see, she's having some trouble with the other girls at gymnastics. Except G. She likes G. No, G doesn't homeschool and, yes, G is an age mate. She also likes Z, who is 16 and does homeschool.

Just for the record, she also likes I of the broken thumb and toe very well and J, C, S and the other S pretty well, too, none of whom homeschool and who vary in age from 7 - 10. However, the rest of the initials are at a different level, and, thus, Davan doesn't hang out with them at gymnastics anymore.

What is the trouble with getting along with the girls in her group? Movies, for one. The girls all talk about the latest movie and how great it is. We don't go to movies. We rarely rent them. We don't seem to find a lot of them that we like enough to spend out time on. So, when the girls are talking movies, Davan is left out because she doesn't know the movies. Apparently, this happens with most of their conversations. Movies was just the example Davan gave.

Another reason for not getting along is that Davan doesn't like to goof off. Bizarre, I know, but when her coach tells her to focus and not play with that foam disk because they only have 20 minutes on vault and then goes to spot girls in another line, Davan wants to actually vault, not play with the foam disk, unlike the other girls. She says she doesn't try to police the girls, but she has tried pointing out when it's someone's turn - "In a minute." - she's also tried just going if no one else does - "Hey! You're cutting!"

Davan also tells me that 4 hours, 3 times a week is just a lot of time to spend with girls that you aren't really close with. True.

The worst thing, though, is M. M is mean. Davan told me that she doesn't like M very much, but then let it go. Tonight, though, another mom was telling me that her daughter, S ("S is okay most of the time," reports Davan), has been telling her how mean M is. M is mean to everyone. S told her mom that M was so mean to Davan one day that Davan cried.

I was a little surprised that Davan didn't tell me about this. Then, though, I realized that when Davan was telling me about not liking some of the girls, I was kind of exasperated with her and asked her to list who she did like. I guess she felt she wouldn't be well received if she did tell me about it.

I tried asking her in the car on the way home how she's getting along with the other girls. She reported the above issues, other than M. I've seen the whole goofing off vs not myself and the movie thing just makes sense. I prompted her rather bluntly, "How is M?"

"M is...okay," she reluctantly replied.

"Is she mean sometimes?"

"Yes," with some relief and regret.

"To you particularly or to everyone?"


"How is she mean?"

"She's just kind of harsh. It's hard to explain."

The conversation drifted and we got home and were settling in when I asked her point blank, "Has M been so mean to you that she's made her cry?"

"No," shaking her head, "Why do you ask?"

I explained about S telling her mom that M had made Davan cry. "No, Mom, I haven't cried about anything M's done."

"Can you give me an example of one of the mean things M says?"

She related this story: They were in line for tumbling and M turned to Davan, who was right behind her in line and said, "You shouldn't be right behind me. You should be farther back in line because you're not as good as me." Do you think M's mom and dad would be upset if I slapped their kid up a bit?

S told her mom about this encounter: M was doing something different than what the girls had been told to do. S said to her, "You're supposed to be doing what the rest of us are doing." M replied, "Don't talk to me," totally seriously.

I find all of this rather frustrating. It's why I always say that if I were going to put Davan in school, it would not be middle school. These girls are all in about the 10-12 year old range, with the exception of Z. The nasty clickish sort of years.

Davan will see the season out. We've paid for it already and she does love it. Then, we'll have to make some choices. Pursuing Do Jump is a real possibility - her teacher is happy to recommend her for trying out for their performance troop and Do Jump does seem to attract more sorts of kids that are no so...typical. Or, I could still see her going to the developmental team. They are a smaller group that works hard and does not appear to tolerate social back bitting. Or, we could check out another gym and see what sort of group she'd be with there. I don't think I'd be comfortable with her staying with this same group, though. Her coach is a very nice woman with great gymnastics teaching skills, but there is too much other stuff going on.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Things I Think About

Lately, I've been thinking about vitamin D. Yeah, weird, right? Any-who, I'm thinking about it weird or not.

There are all sorts of conflicting information about vitamin D. The theories go from 10 minutes a day of unfiltered sunlight will do you to it's impossible to get enough vitamin D from the sun if you live in northerly climates, which most of North America does and various theories that cover the space in between.

I've also heard that we'd get enough from the sun if we're out in it enough, even though we're northerly, but we don't do it "right." We put on sunblock. We wash too often. Yup - apparently it needs time to "settle in" before you wash your skin, according to one theory I've heard.

It's also important to note that if you're darker complected, you'll have a harder time making adequate vitamin D away from the equator. Does that mean, though, that if you're particularly fair, you can get enough even in week winter light?

Okay, so say that you want to hedge your bets and take a vitamin D supplement. Not so fast! Not all vitamin D supplements are engineered in such a way that your body can make use of them. In fact, it may be harmful to take a vitamin D supplement.

So what's a body to do? Well, so far, I sporadically give Davan and I some vitamin D supplements and we try to spend time outdoors regularly - walking rather than driving to her orthodontist appointment today, for example. Is it enough? I don't know. Perhaps I should have my vitamin D level tested. Or is that too obsessive?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Exercise Slump

I've still been doing it - exercising. But, I'm feeling slumpish about it. I don't wanna. But, I am. I'm hoping if I just keep at it, the "don't wanna" feeling will pass.

Sense I started running, I haven't been going for walks much. I kind of miss that. I like walks. Sadly, though, I don't get my heart rate up much during walks, so it doesn't much count as cardiovascular exercise.

I, by they by, ran last on Thursday morning. Friday I went for a bike ride, which I enjoyed, but then I also rode on Saturday and felt like I was dragging myself through it. Sunday was a rest day. Mondays and Wednesdays are swimming days. Yesterday, Tuesday, I did DDR on the Playstation for an hour for my cardio. That was fairly fun, but I also felt like I forced myself to do it, at least to get started.

I've been keeping up the yoga - getting it in about 5 times a week. That's a good thing, but I've been doing it like a chore rather than something I'm looking forward to.

I sort of think I've just been doing too much. I feel like I either am doing chores (including the cooking), exercising or driving Davan someplace. There is more. I mean, I'm here, writing this message as we speak, so to speak. I get in some reading time. I do eat. But, it's what it feels like.

And why not spend my time exercising? I like having a fit body. But, still, it feels too much like work right now. Will that pass? I hope so. Even with the swimming, I feel like I'm dragging myself through my laps. I don't feel like I'm dragging myself to the pool because I look forward to going. I like the social aspect of it. But, when it comes down to time to actually start getting in those laps...well, I feel like I'm forcing myself. I do it and it's okay, but that's all - okay.

Maybe I need something else to do for exercise. But what? Maybe I should back off a little, but I don't really think so. For now, I'll keep plugging away and hoping my negative feelings about it pass. I'm usually glad I've done it afterward. I do think I'll stick with a resting day and, perhaps one other day that I only do a half an hour's worth of working out, like going for a run.

For now, though, I told Davan I'd read with her a bit before swimming, so I'd better get to that.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


We took Davan and her friend, I., to Kids' Club to play in their indoor jungle gym on Sunday. They girls had a great time and played for hours. Sadly, I forgot the camera. Ah well. Turns out that's the least of my issues.

Early on, though, the girls came over to get drinks and I. had hurt her tummy - a plastic burn from going down a slide on her stomach. She said she was okay and waved off offers of ice or anything else. Off they went to play again.

Come 5:00, it's time to head out. The place is closing down. They'd have stayed longer if they could. I. only has one shoe on. She told us she'd kicked the leg of something and hurt her toe. This had happened sometime during the playing without us having been informed, so I figured it wasn't too bad. I did offer to carry her to the car because it was wet out. She declined, hopping to the car instead. She didn't seem to be in pain, playing, chatting and happy all the way home.

Today, Davan went over to play at her house and I inquired about I.'s thumb. You see, I. fractured her thumb a couple of weeks ago and has been in a hand brace. She had a new set of x-rays yesterday and was hoping to be cleared for full use of her thumb again. I. does gymnastics, as well. That's where she and Davan met, though they are at different levels now.

I.'s mom told me that she's out of her brace, but can't do anything that might endanger her thumb for a couple more weeks. Thus, she can play the piano again, but still is unable to do things like vault and bars and tumbling at gymnastics for 2-4 more weeks. Also, though, it turns out that her toe is broken.

Yup. I took out the girl with the broken thumb and broke another digit of hers. Plus burned up her tummy, as well. Go me. You'd trust me with your kid, right?

On the up side, the toe breaking isn't too serious. It's taped up and she can do what she likes as long as it doesn't hurt. It didn't stop her from doing any gymnastics last night, for example, that the thumb wasn't already preventing. Still. I feel badly. I didn't even take it seriously! I didn't even walk her up to her door when we dropped her off on Sunday - Davan did. Yeah.

I'm off to exercise before I have more guilt on top of my guilt - of a different sort, of course.

Monday, November 10, 2008

You, Yes, You!

You have right here, right now, a wonderful opportunity in front of you. You have the opportunity to win a laptop computer. Not just any laptop computer, but a

Studio 1535, Intel Core 2 Duo T5750, 2.0GHz, 667Mhz, 2M L2 Cache

Midnight Blue
3GB, DDR2, 667MHz 2 Dimm


All you have to do is buy a raffle ticket. Your odds of winning will be 1:1600 or better! The raffle ticket is a mere $5.

I'm told that telling people this will cause the raffle tickets to sell themselves. Somehow, I'm thinking that's just not the case. People will be buying them out of the kindness of their hearts to support Davan not for the wonderful opportunity. Perhaps I'm just jaded.

I'm also told that if Davan sells just 5 tickets a week, we'll be done selling by December 15th and that then we can go on to sell even more tickets to support the parents' club.

Now, I'm not against supporting the parents' club, but I'm wondering where these 5 new people every week are supposed to come from. I mean, once you've hit up your family and friends, you're pretty much tapped out, no? Are 5 new people supposed to become your friends each week? 'Cause we're supposed to sell to family and friends. Perhaps there are supposed to be a lot of weddings in my family each week, thus adding to the family count instead of the friend count.

So far, we've managed to sell 13 tickets, thanks to several generous people who've signed on for multiple ticket purchasing. Thank you - you know who you are. I do have a few more people to hit up. We haven't asked Anthony's parents yet, for example. I'm guessing we can count on them for one each, bumping us up to a grand total of 15 with 5 more tickets to sell. At that point, I'm guessing we'll be hitting up the neighbors. Sigh.

Meanwhile, I've sold one of the 4 Entertainment books I've agreed to try and sell. It's possible there will be one or two more sold on Wednesday. Although, one of those would be a pity sale and not because the person in question actually wants one or thinks she'll get her money's worth out of it. So, I'm reluctant to sell one to her. I'm thinking they'll have to go off to work with Anthony. Poor Anthony, always hitting up his coworkers. Do you think they'll want some raffle tickets, too?

I hate fundraising. I wish we were well enough off to just forgo it - not try to sell anything that's optional and then just buy all 20 raffle tickets, as well. We will be forgoing any future optional fundraisers, for sure, though, because I just can't handle the selling pressure. However, if you like, I can point you in the direction of some nice folks selling Christmas wreaths pretty soon.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

In the Shower

I'm standing there, lingering in the shower, taking a slow approach to this Saturday morning, which started with a cuddle with Davan and then an hour long bike ride, when I was struck with inspiration about a topic for a post. It was good. It was pertinent. I was ready to sit down and write.

Yeah. I forgot. I can't remember at all what I'd been thinking of. Bummer.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Sure - It's Only Been on my Mind All Day

I've been thinking about a post all day, but when I sat down to write, did I mention anything about it? No. You'd think that 37 wouldn't be old enough for the brain to start going.

I heard from Barbara (our case worker) today. Max's case worker wanted to know what dentist Max had gone to while living with us. I passed on that information, which I'd included in a couple of different places in stuff I'd sent on about him. Any-who, I also asked how he is doing.

Barbara said she didn't know anything new, just some stuff from the beginning. I said, "Well, I haven't heard that, so I'm interested to hear what you do know."

Well, the news isn't good for poor Max, who is going by his birth name again, but I'll keep calling him Max so as to not give away information that's not mine to give away. He had trouble with the placement and was going to be moved, the last Barbara knew. Now, he might not have been moved or he might have been. Who knows? Well, his case worker, one would hope. Barbara is supposed to ask her for an update. We'll see if that happens.

Barbara also wants to have a debriefing with us. We've set up a time for next Friday. I was a little surprised by this, feeling like we were kind of done there, but if it makes her feel better, that's fine. I know she'd like us to try again. I could maybe be talked into it, maybe, but Anthony is a definite no and so I'm not likely to get talked into it. I go back and forth about if it'd be a good thing for Davan.

If we did opt to try again, I'd definitely go the foster care route. I wouldn't want anyone's hopes pinned on "forever" before we (Anthony and I) knew if that was something we were able to commit to. But, as I say, it's not at all likely to happen. For better or worse.

I hope Max is able to find a place. It's really sad for him to have to keep moving. I do have to say, though, that hearing this news made me feel a little vindicated. Max's case worker had chosen a "very experienced foster family that would really be able to help him process and move forward into another adoptive placement." The foster mom, when she came to pick up Max's belongings gave me a hug and said, "Don't worry about him. He'll be fine. We'll take good care of him."

All-in-all, it made me feel like I was just inadequate. Of course Max would do well someplace else. We just sucked. Apparently not, though.

However, this update does make me feel badly, as well. If we'd kept him, he'd at least not have had to move more. Really, though, I don't think it was in his best interests to stay here, either. I think a group home may really be the right place for him, not a traditional family setting. I just hope they can figure it out and he goes on to be as "healthy" as he can possibly be.

Meanwhile, I know it wasn't healthy for the other three of us to have him here. We are all so much calmer and happier. I, particularly, was under so much stress that I wasn't even myself, really. My step dad said to me just last week, "It's sure nice to have you back again." Yeah. I think so, too.

Poor Max, though. None of it is his fault, either. He was failed. I hope they can salvage something out of his childhood after the mess that's been made of it thus far.

Home Alone

This is my second evening of being home alone. Anthony is working late and Davan is at gymnastics. I was going to stay and watch her for a bit today, as Anthony wasn't going to be home, I'd already made cream of broccoli soup for dinner and I'd already both gotten in a bike ride and yoga. However, somehow in the course of the day, I'd skipped lunch.

Well, okay, not somehow. I wasn't hungry when Davan ate before she went on her playdate. I'd decided I'd eat after yoga. By the time I was done, though, it was after 2:00 and, while I was a bit hungry, I wasn't desperate for food, so I decided to wait until dinner. Plus, I was busy making the cream of broccoli soup and then running out the door.

I watched her for a while, but then skedaddled to get home and have dinner. Anyway, that left me here, all by my lonesome for the second night in a row.

It's quite nice, just sitting here, reading my book and being all quiet. I wouldn't want to do it every night, though. I have half a thought to go watch Davan for a bit, but a friend and I are supposed to walk soon, so there probably really isn't time. Plus, I don't always enjoy watching. I start fretting about how much standing around is being done, which isn't healthy for anyone, I imagine.

So, I'm back to my book and the solitude. A happy Friday evening to you!

Pumpkin Smoothies

I made Davan and I pumpkin smoothies for breakfast this morning. They were yummy, but now I'm sitting here shivering because they were also cold (as a smoothie should be). For the two of us, I put in:

2 frozen bananas
~3 cups frozen pumpkin puree (I'd previously cooked and frozen a pie pumpkin)
4 TBS flax meal
2 TBS hemp protein
few shakes of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
dash of cloves
enough almond milk to get things moving - probably about 3 cups

I didn't put in any spinach this morning because I've never done that with pumpkin smoothies, which I've only made a few times over the years, and I didn't know how it would turn out. I have another pie pumpkin sitting on my counter, though, so perhaps we'll find out next time.

Also this morning, I went for a bike ride, rather than a run. My knees were feeling off this morning even before running, so I wanted to give them a break. And, yeah, I'd just posted about not being into bike riding for exercise. I guess I just have to regularly prove myself wrong. I gave Davan the option of coming along on the tandem or her own bike, but she opted to stay home.

I had a nice ride down the Springwater Corridor (a Rails-to-Trails trail) and got in an hour of riding, which is about twice as long as I usually run. I'll be putting some thought into making bike riding my cardio option at least a couple of times a week.

Davan has a play date in a couple of hours and I will be doing my yoga then. I'd planned on doing yoga while she was at gymnastics last night, having not had time for it in the morning, but then I didn't. I finished reading Club Dead instead. I guess, between that series, the Twilight series a, Buffy and Angel, I'm into vampires these days. Who'da thunk it?

I've also been working my way through some of Philippa Gregory's historical fiction books, having started The Queen's Fool last night at bed time. I've read a few others of hers now and I enjoy them. Just call me popular fiction gal, I guess.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Busy Day!

I have about five spare minutes in between lunch and game day today. I debated settling down with my book for a few cozy minutes, playing a few songs on the keyboard or writing a post with my few minutes. Here I am. I bet you're glad. :)

I woke up to my radio alarm this morning for the first time sense the time change. Usually, even before the time change, I'm awake when the alarm goes off more or less, but it reminds me it's time to stop lounging and dozing and start thinking about getting up. This morning, though, the alarm took me totally by surprise. And I slept well last night, too. I guess I was doing some catching up.

I got up, started in on chores, was joined soon after by Davan, had a word with her in regards to sloppy vacuuming, which caused her to cry, but then do a good job and feel proud, went for a jog (my knees are complaining a bit when I'm actually jogging, but fine otherwise), came home, threw breakfast together while also stretching, showering and dressing, ate, partially in the car on the way to drop Davan off for her reading to preschoolers time, mailed a letter at the post office, went to the library to drop off books and pick up holds, stopped by the ATM to pick up this month's budgeted cash (finally), came home to finish adding stuff to the beans for tonight's dinner (red beans today) and start making lunch (African bean soup - we have no leftovers, so I had to actually make it), during which time Davan was dropped off post reading, ate lunch while pursuing my email, cleaned up and now, posting my blog. Whew.

Game day is actually due to start at this very minute, but, as no one has arrived yet, I won't be starting quite yet.

For breakfast this morning, Davan and I had pear compote with oatmeal. It's the same as the apple compote I've posted about before, but with pears. We had several that needed using up, so I did that for both yesterday and today. The pears are nice and sweet and make a pleasant alternative. Tomorrow will be a smoothie day, though. Perhaps pumpkin....

Post game day, I'll pack Davan's dinner and take her to gymnastics. Then I'll need to go pick up the CSA for the next to last time, after which I plan to come home and do yoga before dinner. Then it'll be close to time to go pick Davan up.

I have game day-ers, so I'm off!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Family Picture

It's become apparent that we need a new family picture. I rarely go and actually look at my own blog, but the last couple of times that I have, I've looked at it and though, "Hmmm, that doesn't look like the right picture for my blog anymore." I've started thinking the same thing about our large family picture in the place of prominence in the living room.

The blog picture seemed like an easier fix, though. Turns out not. I don't have a single post Max family picture. There are ones of each of us in pairs (although only one or two of Anthony and I together), but none of all three of us. This is something that needs remedying.

Baby Lust

I'm in the midst of a sever case of the stuff. Baby lust. I seem to be particularly susceptible to this illness for someone with only one child.

Prior to Davan's birth, I had a long, ongoing case of baby lust. For me, it started young. When I was around 10 or so, I started begging my mom for a baby sibling. I'd take care of the baby whenever I was home, I'd proclaim. This lusting didn't go away until I was pregnant with Davan. I miscarried before I got pregnant with Davan and, believe you me, that sure didn't help matters.

Dealing with my high needs baby/toddler cured me (mostly) of the illness. Although, I still did have occasional pangs, wishing I'd just become accidentally pregnant and have to deal with two, although I was so far from feeling like I could cope with two that choosing pregnancy was not even close to an option.

As Davan got older, though, it started to creep back in. I became certified as a doula to help deal. That was not a good substitute, though, I and realized I didn't like being with strangers while they gave birth.

So, the lust crept back in. One night when Davan was around five, I'd been up late reading a book where the author (a midwife) has a late life baby and I cried, knowing that wasn't going to happen for me. It's not that I'm not able to conceive - well, I am but only because I only have sex with Anthony and he is snipped. It's a choice. I feel strongly about the choice and Anthony feels even more strongly these days. However, it doesn't stop me from wanting, aching even, from time to time.

Going through the adoption process was a good cure for a while. But, as soon as we disrupted, I started a bought of baby lust. It passed, more or less, but the last day or two has found me desirous again.

We could make it happen, I think. There are medical procedures to get around the vasectomy or there is a family member I have in mind for an operation involving a cup and a turkey baster (see how far my thoughts have gone?). Davan loves babies and would be a big help, right? She'd have a sibling for when she was an adult. That'd be nice. I'd get the baby. What more could I want?

Well, for one, sleep. I really don't do well with interrupted sleep and I never did learn how to nurse and sleep at the same time, although I was a champ at laying down while nursing.

For another, time to do what I want to do. I couldn't swim without imposing on someone or paying for a sitter and, yeah, we have extra money. Plus, if the next one were anything like Davan, he/she wouldn't stand for being handed off to someone else and I wouldn't be able to swim with my baby screaming by the side.

We're taking the season off from skiing this year, but I still want to ski, too. I'd miss that. I've started running and there is always a jog stroller, for a while at least. And them maybe, when he/she didn't want to go, Davan could babysit. Using her as a built in baby sitter is healthy, right?

We're going to Disney World in January. If a baby were around, that would mean a very different sort of trip, not that one would come so soon, I'm not that mathematically challenged, but other types of trips will come up for the future. We couldn't all go on many of the rides and that would be too bad. I'd miss doing that.

Would we be able to sit around and read out of the family book or would this baby be too demanding for attention? Would I be able to sit and eat? Would I be able to sit around or walk and chat with my mom? What about going to visit Chris? That sort of stuff all went much by the wayside with Davan as a baby.

All of this plus cost and other factors made our decision about not having another baby for us. Still, though, I have the lust. It'll pass, though. For a while, at least.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Fundraising Madness

Good lord, man. I just got done coming home from the gym and posting about the fundraiser, when I head on back to the gym and discover there is also an Entertainment Book fundraiser going on. Like it's not bad enough to ask people to buy one set of things. Lovely. I picked up four books. Yeah, we could sure use the money, but geez. More fundraising.

I pick Davan up, hang with her for a while, send her off to bed to be read to by her dad and sit down to check email one last time before bed. What do I find? The raffle fundraiser is starting! And this one has a minimum participation level. Each girl has to sell at least 20 $5 tickets. Whimper, whimper. The prize? A laptop. Who doesn't want another computer, right? Right? Right?!?!?!?

I'm going to go stick my head in the sand and pretend this is all going away now. Now!


So, it's the 4th of November, which I'm sure comes as no shock to most of you, it being election day and all. However, apparently, it's a shock to me. I'd done the budget last month and had carefully planned what our new budget was. Part of the plan was getting cash to pay for groceries because that keeps me from fudging.

What did I do Sunday? Go shopping at Costco. What did I do Monday? Go shopping at Winco. Did I get cash for grocery money? Nope. Did I keep track of what I spent? Nope. I think I might still have the recites, though. I'll have to look for them and then subtract that money from the food money and get back on track.

Also, as it's November, I turned on the heat today. I'd been waiting until November 1st, but then it was warm over the weekend, so I still didn't turn it on. Today, though, when I came home in the afternoon, it felt really cold in the house. I checked and the temperature was 58 degrees. Now, it's gotten that cold in the house, but usually it's at night, not in the middle of the afternoon. Time for some heat.

Hello, November. I'll try to pay more attention.

The Dreaded Fundraising

New gym, new fundraising. Yay. On the plus side, any money we make goes directly toward Davan's meet costs, which is a nice thing. If any of you loyal 6 readers would like to support Davan's gymnastics endeavor, you can click here and buy stuff. What kind of stuff you may ask? Well, all sorts of great stuff like quality wrapping paper, gourmet chocolates, other exciting items and, oddly, bendable clothes hangers. Go take a look. Maybe you'll see something you can't live without.

If you're local to us, we're also selling frozen cookie dough, so ring me up and let me know if you want some. It's Otis Spunkmeyer...(Imagine that being said in a trying to temp you tone of voice).


Monday, November 03, 2008

Will This Effect How I Shop?

After swimming today, Davan and I went to Winco. We'd just shopped at Costco yesterday, but their oranges were a lot more expensive than Winco's and I needed some spices, which brings me to my point.

I'm a fan of bulk foods. They are cheap, which is good - especially the spices, which are so much cheaper it's amazing. They use less packaging, which is good.

Today, though, the reason why they are not good smacked me right in the face. Now, we all know it's a possibility that people are doing things with the bulk food we probably wouldn't like - using their bare hands and such. But I was appalled by a large mustached man this afternoon.

He was at the spice area when I rolled up my cart. Even my presence didn't stop him. He scooped, then stuck his nose within a quarter inch (meaning the mustache was significantly closer) of the scoop of seasoning, sniffing for a prolonged period of time. Then he put it back. And, no, that wasn't the worse of it. Then, he licked his finger, stuck it in the spice and licked it off. He repeated the move with two different spices, then went back to cinnamon, which he finally scooped in a little bag to purchase.

Yes. It did occur to me to say something. I am, though some may find it hard to believe, a very shy person and I couldn't come up with what to say. "Excuse me, but there is a no sampling rule," would have been a good choice, but I couldn't get myself to say anything.

I did, however, try to catch the eye of the employee who was working just around the corner, studiously ignoring the sampling man and avoiding my eye. Good lord, man. She should have been taking care of that!

Will I stop buying in bulk? Probably not. I didn't stop after the last incident. A while back I saw a very overweight child of about five grazing the bulk food bins with her parents studiously ignoring her, as well. She looked me right in the eye while snarfing down a piece of candy pilfered from the bin. I didn't say anything then, either. Man I'm a wimp.

Any-who, beware the bulk food bin. Or not.

Body Update

Because I know you'll all interested. :)

My neck is officially better! I can't remember exactly when I last was still feeling it as iffy, but I think it's been about a week. I'm so glad it's finally better! It was nearly two months of a mix of anything between lots of pain and uncomfortable.

My knees are doing pretty well. I can still feel the left one a little. It got worse before it got better, though, and my right knee got into the act for a day or so, but is fine now. I ran for the 4th day in a row yesterday, but took today off of running because it's a swimming day. I did do my yoga today.

I skipped yoga yesterday morning, as we were going over to my parents' for breakfast. I did stretch and do a little gentle yoga while we watched Survivor, though. Saturday was a short yoga day - only about 25 minutes - which I just did on my own, no tape.

I'm feeling pretty good about my workouts. I'm feeling less than great about food for the last few days. I didn't eat anything outrageous other than on Halloween, but we had chocolate chip pancakes two days in a row (also lots of fruit, though). Both Saturday and Sunday were kind of funny eating days, Sunday being more off. We ate a decent lunch, but then just snacked all afternoon and evening - nothing bad, but no good veggies, either. Anyway, I just ended up going to bed feeling kind of funny in the tummy.

This morning Davan and I had fresh strawberry smoothies. We don't care for frozen strawberries, so it's a seasonal thing for us. We're stretching strawberry season this year with strawberries from Costco, which, while not cheap per say, aren't hidiously expensive either.

I'd just bought some yesterday and noticed that several were already looking a little mushy - smoothies it was! This is what we put in for two of them:

2 frozen banana
~3 cups spinach (this does make it green, but you don't taste it much and adds a lot of nutrition)
~2 TBS smooth natural peanut butter
2 TBS flax meal
1 TBS hemp protein
~3 cups strawberries
~1 cup almond milk

They were yummy!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Flying and Other Pictures

Davan asked Anthony to take a picture of her leaping off of the stair into the living room. It turned into quite a photo shoot. Here are a few of my favorites:

One of the first:

After a few, she changed into one of her leos:

I like this one because she looks like a ghost:

Going into a dive roll:

Holding a very nice handstand:

My step dad took some old videos he'd made and had them put onto DVD. So, this morning, when we went to have breakfast and visit with them, we watched videos of me doing gymnastics. I was about 12 or so and it was at a meet. It was the peak of my gymnastics career. I did do harder stuff on my jr high team than was shown in the videos, to be fair. Still it was the best gymnastics shape I was ever in. I'd been doing it for several years. Davan is much more advanced - at least in her routines. I was working at a higher level at practice than I was doing at the meet because that's what my gym did. Still, though, Davan is much better, except maybe on bars, where I was pretty darn crisp, but I'm sure it won't take long before she surpasses me there, too. Frankly, I'm feeling a little humbled. Fly on, Davan.


Here I am, talking off and on about Davan's sleep problem. Every few months she goes through periods where she has a really hard time falling asleep and she doesn't sleep in to make up for it, either, she usually, in fact, wakes up a little early. Once the period is past, she tends to make up for it by sleeping in.

So, it's just one of those little Davan quirks to blog about, eh? Well, I've realized lately that the child comes by it honestly. I do the same thing. I'm going through just such a period right now myself. The first night was Thursday night, but I felt surprisingly good on Friday anyway. I slept pretty well Friday night, but then last night was rough again. I'm pretty tired today.

It sure doesn't help that it's a long day with the time change. I've felt like it's about bed time since around 4:00. Generally, I find the fall change much easier to take than the spring change, but today I sure wouldn't have minded the day being an hour shorter. Really, though, all-in-all, I think the time should be just left alone. Arizona has the right idea.