Friday, January 27, 2012

You know you're a total sap when...

...The Target beside your house is closing and you are actually, truly sad about it.

No, not crying sad, just "had to go there the past couple days" sad.

Sure, I got a couple good deals on things I did actually want (some nice new shirts for the kids, sunglasses, a wallet, a couple other things as well), but really I just wanted to be at this store.

I used to go to this Target years ago with my parents, right after we first moved down from Maine. I was a teen and still adjusting to the area, but I remember being in their Christmas section and hearing the jokes about how it was called tar-jhay by some (mythical?) folks.

Throughout the years I remember clearance sales and last minute holiday gifts. It was my go-to place Christmas Eve when we got word of another cousin coming to dinner or remembered that we'd left someone off the list. I used to troll their holiday section after each holiday for good deals and cheap candy, or sit in their patio furniture and dream about one day owning a patio to furnish. I spent the scant money I earned as a teen on clothes there, since it was too expensive at the mall. We got gift certificates to Target with both kids, and for random holidays and birthdays. We did our baby registry for Paxton there, explaining to the woman that we didn't have an actual due date, nor would he be a baby, but we wanted to go through this process. I had been eying a certain baby blanket for months and when I got to add it to the registry I though my heart would burst. We got two of them at the shower.

As I walked through the store today with Ambrose, two memories hung on clearly.

One was the day we were matched with Ambrose's first mom, R. We'd gotten the call that morning and were told we had to be at lunch with her and a case worker the next day at noon, three hours away. I looked through my closet and freaked that I didn't have anything nice to wear. My mother came over to watch P and I had a rare hour to myself to run off to Target and try on clothes, trying to find something that was nice and clean but not dressy. I ended up picking khaki pants and a grey t-shirt, both clean and well cut but definitely stay-at-home-mom attire. Sort of a more put together version of myself that I'm still trying to replicate. While there, I mentioned to the man watching the dressing rooms what I was doing this for. I was so excited, I had to tell someone! He informed me that he himself had been adopted, in a closed adoption, and he had no information his birth parents and had been searching a long time. He was very happy I was meeting her, and I almost broke down in tears at his story. I made sure to take pictures, write down seemingly insignificant details, and learn as much as was allowed. Every time I write her a letter and send pictures I think of him and his birthparents, who never received pictures of him. I had always hoped to run into him again with Ambrose, as I'd sometimes see him working at the store when I was there by myself. Today I realized that will never happen. My heart was heavy then...

The second memory was far less significant, but still...

Two years ago there was a snowstorm. We were stuck at home but going stir crazy, and while we didn't want to risk going far we decided that driving someplace close on empty roads, very slowly, would be fine. So we packed up a totally bundled infant and a bouncing-off-the-walls four year old and drove to Target. The place was empty of people but full of lights and toys and lots of space to run. Ambrose had fallen asleep in his car seat, a very rare occasion, and so I just meandered with him, happy to stretch my legs and be out of the house, as Nik and Paxton found a bouncy ball and ran up and down the halls together laughing. It was almost surreal, the place to ourselves... it may be a huge, evil empire-esque giant of a company but that store itself... we felt comfortable there.

There are so many other, tinier memories of that store; picking out presents with Paxton for his brother or friends, shyly buying a multi-pack of OPKs and HPTs when we decided to sort of kind of maybe not not try again, picking up a million last minute snacks on the way to someplace else, picking out our silverware and bed set for our new home and feeling so grown up and in charge, several trips to buy things off of other people's baby registries as I try to keep up hope that I'll get the chance some day and stop my own petty and jealous feelings, and then being so happy to finally be able to buy diapers and baby wash and just baby things in general once my own turn came along.

It's dumb, right?

It's a chain store, one who gives money to causes I don't support.

It's workers who come and go, products that are mass produced and often over priced, cheap junk my kids beg for, and too much packaging.

It's a big box store, a huge building, when my own personal beliefs call for me to be buying smaller and simpler and more consciously.

It's just... a store. Full of faces I don't know and things I'll rarely buy.

But it's also a place. A familiar place. Like a park or a library, just less poetic.

I have been there a million times for totally random tasks and yet some of them stick out in my mind so vividly as I walk down those halls and realize that I'll never walk down them again.

Me as a young teen, me with my self earned money, me in college, me getting married, me setting up house, me preparing for a child, me caring for an infant, me being all grown up and living a totally different life from when I first walked through those very same doors.

I guess in a way it's only normal that I would feel this way. Sixteen years of growth might do that to a person, especially when so many key life points have been linked to this one location, a location I took totally for granted until I saw the bare shelves and read the signs.

So goodbye, nearby Target. I know there are still two more locations within close distance. I know this store will probably be turned into something else that I may very well frequent. But for the moment I will mourn you and your familiarity and all of the things you remind me of, all of the growth captured within your walls.

It's been great. Thanks for all the memories.

Also, thank you for taking back those two sound machines a few years back when we didn't even have receipts. That was awesome of you.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Me and my ole Camry...

It's a birthday party weekend. Tomorrow P gets to go to the bday party of one of his best buddies, who is also a school mate and neighbor. We love her and her family and we're all looking forward to it, even if P did pick a rather weird gift (Bananagrams for a 6 year old girl on her birthday? Hehe :) ). Today there was a bday party for A's friend, a sweet little toddler we know through preschool.

I have to say, it was a bit of a new experience at first!

I had dressed myself and A in our normal attire. Well, okay, I refused to let A wear his "Birthday Boy" shirt, which he's worn at least once a week since October. He chose his Angry Birds shirt as a nice back up, with some old but not busted jeans and his light up Spider Man shoes. Me? Eh, SAHM attire I guess. A tanktop, some grey sweats, black Sketchers and a brown fleece jacket over top since it's kind of drizzly and chilly. I hadn't been able to take a shower yesterday nor this morning so my hair was a little greasy, but I gave it a good brush and figured I'd get a pass since, eh, it's a group of parents with small children.

So yeah, we followed the directions and drove out to their house and I swear, as I was driving the houses kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. And pretty ornate as well, not like my 30 year old, slapped together, just-outside-downtown house. I began to feel a little... inadequate.

We had some trouble with the directions, but finally found their cul-de-sac, which lead to a very long driveway (roughly 1K feet I'd guess). I parked near the other cars, as more arrived behind me. Here I was in my small, needs-a-wash, side of rearview mirror cracked, 12 year old blue Camry and all around me were sparkly clean white and black SUVs. I watched a couple of the other families get out of their cars. Tall, thin, well dressed and perfectly coifed people with gorgeous handbags and children in cute and somewhat dressy clothes. I grabbed Ambrose's little bright green froggy bag (I had shoved his diapers and extra clothes in, along with my wallet and phone), and pulled him out from the car.

Once I'd cleaned off all of the bits of torn tissue from him (where did he find that? Was it used???), and attempted to smooth down my hair, we walked up to the house. To say it is much larger and more spacious than ours is an understatement! I was looking at the other moms, the other kids, the house, and realizing what sort of world I was in... and suddenly my mind flashed back to when this family had come to A's birthday party last fall and how the mom had sat on my permanently not-quite-clean carpet in a messy living/dining room, squished in with other people, with all that mismatched furniture and the old windows with the cracking frames and our old popcorn ceilings with paint smears here and there from where I messed up and... yeah....

I felt so completely and utterly out of place.

And as much I love this family and the child whose birthday it was, I wanted to get out of there.

I don't belong here, they'll judge me! was running through my mind. Perhaps it would be better to just meet up at preschool where we're on equal ground.

But... that's ridiculous.

I'm an adult, they're adults, and there's nothing for me to be ashamed about here.

So we went in, and I socialized, and so did A, and I caught myself being nervous a couple of times at first and literally held my own hand to stop a nervous habit. I talked to people, chatted, and had a great time as did the kids. And I felt just as truly included as everyone else. It was nice to get to chat with the mom of this family for awhile, as well as other people I was meeting for the first time. A had a blast with his friends, both old and new, and we were the last ones to leave with A and the birthday boy running around outside together for a bit while I got to talk to the mom (who is so sweet!). It was truly a fun morning.

I came home and, after handing off A, I took my much needed shower. Oh, did it feel nice! As I was washing my hair I found myself in an internal debate. It was after 1pm, everyone else had ended up eating lunch but I'd only had a couple of crackers with cheese. Should I try to eat some lunch? Or just have a snack since I wasn't all that hungry and then eat dinner a bit early? Just a salad now with something light this evening? Or a piece of fruit and then maybe go out to dinner later? As I weighed the pros and cons and thought about how to plan the rest of the day, it suddenly struck me. Images of the children we're sponsoring, images of the people we'd met in Ethiopia, images of starving people from all over the world, including our own country. "Should I eat more of my clean/fresh/nutritious food, that I can easily afford, now, or just a little now and more later?" How many people would literally give anything to be able to have that choice? To have what I have? How many people would kill for a roof over their heads, water at the tap (enough to waste on a hot shower!), food in so many varieties and quantities, a working car, a living and healthy family, an able body, a strong support system, an education, a safe place to live, so, so, so much...

It was as if from the back of my brain a voice was screaming, "don't you dare pity yourself, don't you dare think of yourself as poor, look around and see your bounty for you are truly RICH!" and it's so true, so true...

So today, as I sit in my warm, dry house at my working computer with my loving, intact family asleep upstairs taking peaceful naps in their own beds, in their own rooms, I give great thanks for the many and numerous blessings around my and throughout my life.

For good friends, from all walks of life, for the yummy left over cake from last night, for little boys giving great big hugs, for super comfortable grey sweats (seriously, my lower half is in heaven over here), for the promise that this life will continue and that instead of worrying about the next paycheck or the next time we'll eat or the next time we could afford a doctor's visit, our only worry today is whether to eat in our out for dinner.

I am so, so lucky...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Sooo, I'm not chair of the Hospitality committee on our new PTA. Like, seriously new. P's school? Yeah, it's not a new school, but it was turned into a Magnet school recently (this is the second year) focusing on Engineering. Also, 80% of the staff at the school is new, including the principal. The PTA was discontinued a few years back after it whittled down to almost no one helping out. But the school is getting in more applications than expected, has received grants this past year, and has so far been wonderful for P. In fact, everytime I'm at the school I'm greeted by happy kids, cheerful educators and staff, bright colors and tons of pictures, and a whole ton of diversity, in fact probably the most diverse school I've seen. I don't even think there's a majority race, though I'd have to check the numbers!

Anyway, I think I'm finally settling on a New Years Resolution, and that's that I want to stop admiring people without emulating them. It always bothers me when people go on and on about how great adoption is and how they wish they could do it, but can't even come up with a good excuse why not. Well, this year I'm going to try to stop doing that myself for other things.

We finally got our act together and started to sponsor two preteen boys overseas to send them to school We're paying less than $50/month, about what it costs to fill one of our tanks of gas for a week, to help support not only these boys but their whole families as this not only covers school, but for one child it covers medical, and for both it covers economic counseling to help the family get on their feet within the next 3 years. All for the cost of a sushi date night for us that we'll probably forget about the next day. Yeah, stop admiring, just do it.

We're starting MAPP classes tonight. We're so confused about this, so up in the air. We like the semi-guarantee of adoption and infertility treatments, and yet... and yet we admire foster parents. We admire those who foster to adopt, as well as those who just outright foster. Stop admiring, just do it.

Last night at the PTA meeting they were going over the committees, their plans for this year, what they'd need people to do, and I found myself already envisioning arguments with the chair of the committee I'd offered to help on over a few issues. And I don't argue well. So I said I'd just go ahead and be the chair myself. I have no idea what I'm doing, but I only have like 5 months of school left and there aren't any big expectations right now. And really... I need to stop waiting for someone else to step up. For someone else to be in charge that I can try to influence or aid. For someone else to do the work while I play on FaceBook. So I stopped admiring all those who'd already chosen to be a leader in the PTA and I raised my hand and said, "I'll do it," and I have to admit I was (am) petrified but I'm also excited. I'm... exhilarated. I feel good.

So this coming year looks like it will be fruitful, and crazy, and all over the place. So many projects to do at home and at the schools, so much to work on, so much to learn, so much to DO!

Oh, and Nik's finally convinced that we should go to Disney World. I did always admire those families who found the time/money to get away and make great memories with their kids.... :-P Hehe, I've been begging for years!

Here's to a great 2012, for ALL of us!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I've gone to a couple of infertility support groups now and, well, it's actually gone a lot better than I was thinking it would. For some reason after all the IF blogs I've read and all the IF forums I've lurked on I was worried I'd get into sort of a forum-made-real-life, a room full of angry, angsting, ready to choke someone women.

And instead I've found very sweet, honest, open, and supportive women, and partners even.

It's not at all what I was expecting, and I have to say that I'm beyond pleasantly surprised. No one spewing hatred for the pregnant women on the street? No drama or arguments over correct terminology or courses of action? Just a group of people laughing, sharing, learning, and openly offering support to all those around them even if they don't know their names? Dude, it's not at all like the forums! It's like, well, like a support group. And since I've never actually been to a support group that I can recall I suppose it really is a totally new experience for me.

And it has me thinking a bit more, about us, our family, our journey, our infertility, our options, our future, etc. Hearing people be so blunt, so honest, about their thoughts and their journeys makes me realize I should be more honest to myself.

I think I've learned something about myself this week...

I think I'm in denial.

Heck, I think N and I both are.

And, well, I think we're sort of using adoption as a buffer... which sounds horrible.

Okay, hear (read?) me out:

We've always, ALWAYS, planned on adopting. Always. This was just as much a part of the plan as conceiving and giving birth, and while we tried to conceive first that had nothing to do with a preference for a biological child over a child through adoption, and everything to do with a "proper order" of things and an ease into parenthood. One costs a lot of money, takes a ton of paperwork, meetings, and checks, and brings in issues of attachment, social isolation from other new parents, and the need to seek out additional information constantly in order to correctly help your child grow, adjust, and develop a positive identity. The other requires that you make love to your spouse, as you typically do anyway, and then you most likely become pregnant, most likely carry to term, most likely deliver a healthy child, and most likely learn to parent in the same way that 99% of the population already has, with constant support and examples all around you. Which would you prefer to start out with if you had a choice for first time parenting?

Thing is, infertility threw a wrench into that decision making process for us, so it became two choices, both costing a lot, both invasive in different, and yet still uncomfortable, ways, both involving changing schedules and routines just to get started in hopes of something happening, both with the possibility of stretching on into infinity with ups and downs and failure as a distinct possibility. It's just that we'd always planned to adopt. We hadn't always planned, nor even considered, semenalysis and Lovenox and intra uterine inseminations and all that.

So we adopted a child, because we truly could not wrap our minds around fertility treatments and we figured it just, well, made sense. We were 21 and 23, we would have time to conceive, and hopefully we could take on this daunting process with a child or two at home.

We adopted P, and then we HAD to adopt A. We needed to give P a sibling who looked like him, who was also not biologically related. P is so sensitive to things... if he were the only non-blood related person in our family, and the only dark skinned person, this could profoundly affect him. It just made sense, and it worked so wonderfully for us. I could not ask for a better pair of children, they are truly my sons and so, so wonderful.

So this leads to now....

We've been wishy washy with what to do for #3, or even if there should be a #3. We have two healthy little boys who are smart and happy and growing so wonderfully. We're all sleeping through the night, usually, and each day brings us closer to things like potty training and increased independence. We can travel, we can go on dates and stay out late, we can be young and fun and enjoy ourselves. Do we really need to add another child?

And there's adoption. If we do want another, why not adopt again? There are so many potential options there, and wait times don't seem so bad when you have two little ones already.

There's embryo adoption. We could just adopt an embryo. Really, this does sound appealing.

And we could even just leave it to see what happens each month....

But then I start to think about it and... I'm not pulled as much to private adoption right now, and Nik isn't pulled at all. Foster to adoption we can see, sure, but private adoption just isn't calling to us.

And we did always want children both through birth and adoption, and now WOULD be the perfect time to try.

But, see, if we TRY to conceive and we're doing foster care, like actively try with meds and stuff, then we really do stand a high chance of becoming pregnant and if that happens then we might not be able to continue fostering or adopt our foster children.... so we shouldn't do it....

Or we should be happy where we are, so we shouldn't do it....

Or it would be unfair to our two children to actually TRY so hard to have a biological child, so we shouldn't do it....

Or having a biological child at all, who could be treated as "more than" by family, it could hurt our children so we shouldn't do it....

Or we'd become a cliche, a story that cousins and friends of friends pass on to others when they don't know the whole story, so we shouldn't do it...

Or... or....

Or I could just stop this, stop hiding behind adoption as an excuse, and be perfectly and totally and somewhat sorrowfully honest for a minute.

I hate being infertile.

I hate being incapable of conceiving a child with my husband in the same way that most others conceive children daily.

I hate that I have to look up clinic reviews and medication costs.

I hate that I have to choose between Disney or IVF.

I hate that I'm expected to chart my temperature every morning, and I hate that I can't bring myself to do it anymore.

I hate that I get bad conception advice from people I know and love, and I hate that I can't just be honest with them that I want them to stop as I don't want to offend them even when they inadvertently offend me.

I hate that I will never truly feel 100% included in a group of mothers, that I will always stand out at some point when the conversation shifts.

I hate the fear that I could end up with a biological child and suddenly my children will stand out even more and be excluded because of a younger sibling.

I hate the fact that I can't bring myself to call and make an appointment.

I hate the thought of giving myself meds every day, meds that might morph and destroy my body with no results to show for it.

I hate that every month I calculate my potential due date, and every month I cry a little when my period comes and I realize that another potential due date has passed us by and the child that I had begun to believe in and love never existed at all.

I hate that I sometimes feel bitter and excluded when I read about water births, belly bands, preggie pops, and prenatal yoga.

I hate the thought that I'll need to hire someone to watch my children so I can have blood drawn, take ultrasounds, and go to multiple consults and appointments with quite possibly nothing to show for it but a drained bank account and a bruised body.

I hate that I could go through years of work to become pregnant and lose the child, like so many have, and have to make the choice of whether to start the whole process again or give up after so much work.

I hate reading success stories because they make me feel bad for not even trying.

I hate the thought that if we did become pregnant I'd probably spend the whole nine months worrying nonstop that something dreadful would happen, never having that peaceful and serene pregnancy I'd always dreamed about anyway.

I hate that fertility treatments can lead to necessary inductions and c-sections.

I hate knowing that people think we've "come to terms with our infertility" because of adoption, as if the infertility was cured along with the childlessness.

I hate that we can't commit fully to adoption at this point, but can't commit to no more children or to biological children either, so we've ended up in a "fate will decide" situation by going with foster care, which is one of the most emotionally risky things we could possibly do.

I hate the costs of meds, ultrasounds, and consults, not to mention the big procedures.

I hate the wait times for everything.

I hate having to explain complicated decisions to people when it's so simple, really, to just tell them you're infertile and you adopted.

I hate shots, and blood draws, and doctors I don't know, and new clinics, and sterile air, and white gloves, and random beeping machines.

I hate thinking that I'd be disrupting Nik's work schedule, consistently to the point of threatening his employment, for something that I want more than him.

I hate thinking that Nik would be less involved in this than me.

I hate the thought that ten years from now we might have all our children in school and me working outside the home and the urge for a baby might be so strong and all consuming that we start the journey then, instead of now; I hate the thought that future me might hate present me for not taking the plunge earlier.

I hate thinking that the children will be upset if we try this... upset that we wanted a biological child so badly, and what it means about them... upset that we would spend so much money and time on this when we could be making wonderful memories.

I hate the thought of never carrying a child in my womb, and I think about it every day.

I hate that I'm petrified to do this.

I hate the thought that if we don't do this I'll regret it for the rest of my life.



There's my thoughts for the week in a nutshell...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Funny boys

They just keep growing and growing, don't they?

Paxton is totally, completely, definitively a different child than he was last summer.

While his logic is that of a small child, his words are far closer to those of an adult. He's verbose, that's for sure! You can have long, heavy, and complicated conversations with him. Sometimes he follows along and absorbs things shockingly fast. Other times...

"... well, some believe that Jesus is actually God as well."*

"Oh! Like how Anakin is also Darth Vader!"

Yeah, fun, make you spit out your water type conversations :-)

Also? Apparently vomit is typically orange and it's not scary or fun, just fascinating, to watch people throw up in class. And boogers taste like cheese. Yeah...

Yesterday my big boy totally got me.

"So P, how was your day?"
"... I... I'm sorry mom, I had a red day!"
"What? A red day? I... did your teacher try to call me?"
"Let me see your folder, he would've written something in there"
(open his bookbag and take out his daily folder... and there's green colored in for his day)
"Oh, silly P! Haha, I guess it's so red it looks green!"
"Hmmm, what should we do about you having a day that was sooooo bad that you got the "good" color for the day?"
"Mom, stoppit! Stop laughing at me! I really had a red day!"
"What? Oh, honey, but it says--"
"I used the wrong color, okay? I was afraid you'd be mad at me so I colored it in green!"
"I... what? Honey, did you really do that?"
"But... you really had a red day?"
"How? What happened?"
"I hit S...."
"You HIT your friend? You really hit S????"
"... HAHAHA! Got you mom!!!"
"I triiiiiicked you! I had a great day. And I ate ice cream with lunch!"
"I am so calling your teacher about this."

So I didn't call his teacher, but the threat is there to never do that again and to be honest with me. This kid is petrified of me "telling on him" to his teacher if he misbehaves! Honestly, I have to admit, I was more impressed than anything with P's performance. Yeesh, what skill this child has! But one must use such gifts for good, neh? So no more lying to mom. Seriously, mom holds grudges :-P

And as for the little bean, it's somewhat bizarre the things I hear coming out of his mouth now. The full sentences, the inflections, the emotion.

If a song comes on the radio it's either, "Oo, I LIKE this!" or "I don't like that, change!"

When it's time to cross a road I often pick him up if he won't hold my hand. Now I get, "No, let me walk! I love to walk! Put me down!"

P couldn't put 2 words together until right around his 3rd birthday, and here I am with a 2 year old speaking sentences... it's certainly far easier and we stem off a lot of tantrums as he's able to communicate his desires and we can either meet those demands or communicate back, in words he understands, why we can't meet those needs. I mean, seriously, we can't go to the airport every time we leave the house and it's just killing this little guy, but at least we know what he wants and can let him know that we will go there again, just not at the moment.

In some ways, though, I think the cutest/most wonderful thing going on with them right now is watching the little one mimic his big brother. Crossing his arms and saying "hmph!" when he doesn't get his way, demanding to have the same foods and everything just the same, stealing his books and toys and tryign to read or play with them the same, and all of the cute mannerisms too. So sweet :)

The grow so fast, too fast, and it's... it's this bizarre, crazy, wonderful journey. I am so, so lucky to have these children. Too lucky. :-)

* I don't like to get into politics or religion, especially as I have friends/family that walk all different areas of these realms, but let's just say we fit right in at our Progressive Christian church, and we tilt a bit left :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Getting Back Into It

So towards the end of the year I kind of fall into the same ole trap that a lot of people do: I get swept away with Holidays and visits and parties and activities, both mine and the kids, and even when I'm not occupied with such things, I fall into the trap of just lazing about. It's a vacation time, you know? Who needs a clean house? Who needs to cook fresh meals? Who needs to work out? Who needs to run errands? Just focus on wrapping those gifts, baking those cookies, and taking long videos and loads of pictures to remember this Holiday season.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that. We all need a break sometimes, don't we?

But anyone who knows me knows that I'm a slacker, a ditz, a layabout :-P Really, there was a time years ago when I secretly hoped that I could be in some awful car accident that would ruin my spine so I could spend the rest of my life sitting down and having people wait on me. Seemed great. Lucky permanently injured people. I'm not so bad anymore, but I do sit on my bum and stare at a screen far more than I should, and I really can't pass up a good celebration. I don't typically drink at all, and if I do we're talking like one glass of wine with a long meal, but I looooove good laughs and conversation and visits and traveling and eating sweets and having a good time. I'm of the 'eat, drink and be merry' variety, as is a lot of my family, and any excuse for a celebration is good enough for me. Heck, for awhile there we used to celebrate Thursdays. I dunno, it just seemed like such a depressing day, everyone always wishing it was Friday, so we figured Thursday was our 'go out and do something' day. Worked for us!

Okay, so after that ramble...

The Holidays were great. The kids were a blast, nothing but Hallmark style laughter, smiles, and joy. Seriously, I don't know how that happened, but they were wonderful and happy, they did really well with all the different schedule changes, who was in the house and who wasn't, who we were visiting, what time we were eating, differing bedtimes, etc. They even both had a sleepover, P at MIL's house and A at my parent's house, and they were great and had fun. Nik and I got a nice date on New Years, just sushi and walking around downtown, doesn't take much for us :) So all in all, the Holidays were fun, pretty uneventful, successful, etc.

And now... to get back into it.

Which is going okay-ish.

I'm back to the gym and *trying* to start eating better again. I really need to get back into Pilates and probably get the chocolate out of this house in a way other than eating it.

Nik's getting back into running again and he's going at it full force. His huge deadline at work is looming in front of him and he's working a lot during his time at home too.

Ambrose, who cut out naps, is now passing out right before lunch time which is a fine time to do so but even so he doesn't sleep that long because the poor babe is so hungry. He was so happy to go back to school.

P too is happy to be in school and see his friends, buuuut...

P was shocked that he wasn't out of school at Winter, like he thought. He's really struggling internally with some things. Before break he was told that the Polar Express would be coming to the school and I had to let him down on that. Then he asked his teacher and was told that the Polar Express WAS real and that it would come for him. Ummmm... what? So now my kid is sad that it didn't come for him, or that he missed it, and others obviously got to go, and yes of course it's real because his teacher said so! I'm all about keeping the spirit alive and all, but my kid is so literal and this really hurts his heart... Then there were his other expectations. Winter was supposed to bring snow which would let him throw snowballs. He's been talking about this for months, throwing snowballs with his friends. He was counting down to winter. Winter came. There are no snowballs. Seriously, he's come into our room in the mornings crying a couple times over the fact that there's still no snow. He was going to throw snowballs with his friends, and it's bad enough he's in school when he thought Winter Break lasted all winter, but now there's no snowballs. And on top of that, this dumb yo-yo show came through a month ago with the sole purpose of selling the kids yo-yos. Several kids got them, but I told P that if he wanted one that badly he could wait until Christmas as he'd just received tons of gifts for his birthday. He did, patiently, even with his friends bringing yo-yos into school and showing off tricks. He got his yo-yo Christmas day, was soooo happy, practiced his tricks, brought the yo-yo in yesterday and... wasn't allowed to play with it in school. Apparently there had been fights over the yo-yos with the other kids and I didn't know about that. I respect the teacher's decision, and P was very respectful and listened even though I could tell it was just killing him. He ended up losing his yo-yo yesterday after being disrespectful to me. It was supposed to be just for a minute but the resulting meltdown, brought on by so much disappointment all culminating at that moment... yeeeeaaaah. That stunk. At least it was followed by 12+hours of sleep for him, and lots of cuddles.

I'm pretty sure that it will take a few more weeks for us all to be totally back into this. And really, we didn't get as far *out* of it as I had thought. The kids held it together so well for so long and I'm really proud of them, something I'm trying to say a lot to help P really believe it (because it's true!). And going to the gym is proving to be nicer than I remembered, though I really need to push myself to do cardio. Stretching and strength is good and all but it doesn't help my heart :) The food thing is proving the hardest, and we're eating a lot of frozen veggies and pastas right now. But we'll get there!

Here's hoping everyone has a GREAT 2012 :)