Monday, February 25, 2008

Ryan's Office Assistant

Ryan is in the midst of changing the ink cartridge on our printer/copier. Stephen is "helping." He is dressed in a button down shirt and khakis. He occasionally is told to "take this to mommy," which he does, and then he very seriously returns to daddy, who desperately needs his help.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Home and Staying Home

We're staying home for the rest of the day. The snow is beautiful ... to watch through the front window. Not to experience firsthand with a full bladder and a coat that I can't zip up while pushing a small-wheeled stroller across campus to go to a concert that was postponed and then to catch a bus that had already left and then to just miss the table offering $1 pizza. We were wet, but we made it home. Ryan is en route to St. Louis in the limo, where I fear their road conditions may be worse than here!

Stephen has been learning where things go, and one thing he knows is that shoes go on his feet. He is wearing his tennis shoes, as well as Ryan's. He hasn't quite gotten the concept of the appropriate TIME to do certain things. For example, if he sees a cloth wipe, he goes to the sink to get it wet. (We only do that when we have a messy diaper to clean up.) He also hands me my keys, but isn't content for me to just say "thank you." He wants me to put them in my purse. I am trying to take advantage of this, and so now he throws garbage away for me and puts his dirty clothes in the laundry basket. (Though he also sometimes puts his clean clothes in the laundry basket.) Ryan and I were laughing so hard the other night -- we couldn't even catch our breath to say "thank you." We had asked him to put the salad dressing back in the fridge. It is a small bottle that fits in the door, but he thinks he needs a large open space where he can put it. So after standing in front of the open fridge for a few seconds, he musters up all the strength he can, and hoists that little bottle up to the top shelf and causes it to tumble over a couple other containers before it falls into an open spot behind them. (I guess you had to be there :).)

Monday, February 18, 2008

My Belly Is Becoming Inconvenient

Today as I stood in line at the grocery store and then maneuvered around the cart to pay, I kept running into things! I forget about the protrusion that is called my baby. The weight gain is so gradual that I don't feel like I have more to carry around than usual. I'm thankful that I don't feel uncomfortable at this point, though, and I never really did with Stephen.

Now that I'm on the subject of running errands around town, I want to share a rather strange encounter I had with a woman at the post office last week. Keep in mind that, though I try not to, I can look a bit frazzled when walking around in public. I'm often holding 30-pound Stephen because I don't want him testing his running ability on the icy pavement, and my expanding stomach makes that a bit cumbersome. Add a package or two to my armload and cold, windy conditions and you just might feel sorry for me. I walked into the post office and saw a line of 2 or 3, so I stood behind the last person. There was another woman in the room who was standing at the table that the post office provides for you to fill out forms and labels. She saw me stand at the back of the line and immediately said, "excuse me, I'm next." The first thought in my mind was But I already filled out my address label ... but I didn't say that. I just said, "OK." And stood back with Stephen, who was already off to look out the window into the parking lot. The other people in line were apparently so shocked that someone would treat me that way that they insisted I go in front of them. I really didn't care that much, but the gesture was kind and I took them up on it. So thank you, whoever you are!

My parents were here this weekend and, as usual, Stephen had a wonderful time with them! I usually arrange his breakfast schedule so he can eat pancakes whenever there is a grandpa around, and this time was no exception. Both grandpas and Stephen seem to thoroughly enjoy the experience! They also took him to Ashley Furniture with them so that Ryan could get some work done and I could go swimming. He also slept through the night for them and has done so the past two nights as well. Hooray!!

In silly Stephen news, there is a new air hockey video in our youtube collection. He also has a new favorite book. It is about shapes and he goes to the triangle page where there is a piece of pizza and very excitedly says "p!" He also has a number book, in which he tries to call all numbers "10." He has learned how to say some of the other numbers but 10 is still his favorite. He continues to learn more every day about how things work and his vocabulary is increasing, too. Though many words sound the same: "b."

I just finished reading End of the Spear because a friend had mentioned (as a movie) on his blog. I highly recommend it. I haven't seen the movie yet, but the stories in the book were really amazing as far as how some North Americans "fit in" to tribal culture in South America. The author, Steve Saint, is really down to earth, but the events of his life are anything but ordinary.

And, oops, this is really Lisa but I'm typing on Ryan's computer.

Travels to Michigan followed by a busy week

It's been awhile since I updated, but I promise I do have a good excuse! Last week I had rehearsals every night except Tuesday and then last night Ryan and I just HAD to watch The Bourne Ultimatum because it was due today! We really enjoyed all three of the Bourne movies; that genre is one that both of us enjoy. The next movie we're waiting for is Dan in Real Life. We put them on hold at the library but sometimes it takes a couple months for them to show up.

My last post was before our adventure to Michigan so I haven't posted that Ryan's audition at Michigan State went well, despite being up most of the night with a nasty stomach bug. I did the drive from Kalamazoo to Lansing, and he didn't spend too much time warming up. Stephen was also a little sick with a cold, and and he really struggled as I had him take a nap in the lounge at the music building. Once the audition was over, we drove to Saginaw for a visit with Tom, Laura, Cody, Hadley, and Kassy. Stephen had a great time, and frequently just followed the two girls around saying "guls guls" (girls). He also got to eat pancakes. It was a short visit because we had to get back to Illinois Sunday night, so we took off and stopped for dinner in Indiana with Grandma and Grandpa Leatherman. It was a good thing we went that way; I found out on Monday that I-94 had been closed due to bad weather and we would have been stuck!

Stephen surprised me this week and decided on his own that he was ready to start eating with a fork and spoon by himself! Hooray! I was really hoping for this before the baby comes. I have been trying to coach him to do it, and I've known that he is capable, but had decided that what he eats is more important than how he eats it.

Last Wednesday I had my first lobbying experience in Springfield. There is a bill that is in the House that would allow for licensure of lay midwives. Currently the state does not recognize Certified Professional Midwives as care providers, and that limits women's abilities to make choices regarding their birthing experiences. There are a lot of issues surrounding this that I won't go into here, but from the statistics I've seen, I have come to believe that for a low-risk birth, using an MD is not always the safest option. So a friend and I loaded up our 3 kids and drove almost 2 hours to talk with our rep. Supposedly, reps are supposed to be glad to see their constituents. Not ours. She acted busy and annoyed that we had stopped by to talk about the bill. It was really very discouraging. Even if she completely disagreed with our point of view, I think she should have been welcoming and given us a chance to tell her what we thought! At least some of the other parents who were there for the same issue received warmer welcomes and even gathered more support for the bill.

Well, Stephen is waking up (much too soon, might I add?) from his nap and I should go say hello! More posting later ... I'm not done yet!

Monday, February 04, 2008

My Sweet Husband and the Thwarted Superbowl Party

Last week we had quite a snowstorm here in Champaign. Public schools were canceled, but the U of I still had classes so off to school went Ryan. He even managed to get us shoveled out before he left in the morning. The residential streets were pretty snowy and I even had trouble getting back home from our morning get-together because other cars were stuck in the middle of the roads. Our Oldsmobile plowed right through, though.

I didn't want to get Stephen a snowsuit for this winter because I didn't imagine he'd play out in the snow very much. Next winter we will for sure, but he'll be a different size by then. But with all this snow in our yard I wanted him to experience it a little bit. His mittens are warm, but not waterproof, so I had to be a little creative. I put plastic bags on his hands and feet, attaching them with rubber bands.

He didn't get too cold or wet, but playing in the snow wasn't his idea of fun, either. First of all, when we go outside, it's either to get in the car or the stroller, not to play in the front yard. I think the deep powdery white stuff just scared him, too. He did laugh a little when I picked some snow up and threw it, and when we shook some off the bush in front of the house. I guess we'll try again next time, but I don't think it's quite his thing yet.

The weekend was pretty low-key, with Ryan working a limo job and some stage crew on campus. I went swimming for the 2nd time (I need to get in shape for labor!) on Sunday afternoon and it went really well. I did 12 laps, whereas on Thursday morning 8 was about all I could muster up. When I was pregnant with Stephen I did 16 laps (1/2 mile) each time I went to the pool. I did that about 3 times a week, including the afternoon before he was born! I credit the swimming with my ability to maintain strong, abdominal breathing for 16 hours ...

Last night we went to Nathan and Jenn's to watch the Superbowl. I wasn't feeling well, but I chalked it up to swimming and then not getting anything to eat for a couple hours. I sat on the couch for most of the first half of the game, getting up from time to time to go to the bathroom. The chili, which I normally like eating, didn't seem appetizing at all. Just after halftime, I threw up everything that I'd ingested for the past 5 or 6 hours, causing us to need to leave. My dear husband took care of getting Stephen ready for bed and put him down while I rested. I had to get up to place an order that was due today, but I pretty much slept from 9 p.m. until 8 this morning. And then slept during Stephen's nap this afternoon. Ryan had offered to stay home from school most of the day but I didn't need him to. I'm just pretty tired and ready to call it a night already!