Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring Break

This week was spring break for us.  The week started out with some really great weather.  Sunday and Monday we spent as much time outside as we could.  We had a picnic in the backyard and spent lots of time at the park.

Tuesday the rain came and stayed the rest of the week and we spent the rest of the week trying to find things to do inside.  We went to the aquarium, went to the Children's Museum, we had play dates with cousins, and Merrick went with a friend to OMSI (The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry).

A discussion of the week would not be complete, however, without mention of the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (an ethics test).  Jeremy had to take the test yesterday (Saturday) and he spent the majority of the week studying and preparing.  Thankfully that is over now and one more hurdle had been climbed on our path to graduation.

Tonight Merrick said, "I like those times at school when we get a break from school".  All I can say is me too, Merrick. Me too.  Alas, the break is over and tomorrow it is back to real life.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Springtime in Heaven

This week marked the first day of spring and for those of you who have never had the joy of experiencing it, Portland in the spring and summer is truly Heavenly.  Today we came home from church and it was just too beautiful to stay inside, so we headed out into the little piece of paradise we call our backyard.

It is going to be a great spring!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Merzie Bear

It occurs to me that with monthly updates about Carrigan and all the other blogs about our comings and goings, the percentage of blogs about Merrick is way down so it feels like time for an update.

One of my favorite things about being a parent is watching my kids grow and seeing their personalities develop and take shape.  Over the last few months two things have really stuck out to me about Merrick, that he is really smart and that he is very kind hearted.

First off, Merrick really is smart as a whip.  Lately he has become really interested in numbers and spelling.  He is working on counting to a hundred.  I think he can get to 59 completely on his own, but then needs a bit of help to get the rest of the way to a hundred.  He looks for numbers everywhere we go and his latest thing is to read the numbers on the speed limit signs and then ask me how fast I am going.  I have discovered that 37mph in a 35mph zone is no longer acceptable.

He also has become really interested in spelling.  Throughout the day he will think of a word and say "Mommy, how do you spell _________?".  Then we have to break it down and sound it out.  What this has done for me is really cement in my mind just how messed up the English language is.  Try explaining to a four-year-old why "cinnamon" does not start with an "s" and why "one" does not start with a "w" (but it does if you are talking about a different kind of "won").  Thankfully all the words that don't follow the rules don't seem to be lessening his desire learn them.

The other thing that has struck me about Merrick lately is his kind hearted nature.  People ask me all the time how he has done being a big brother and I always tell them how sweet he is to Carrigan.  Over the ten and a half (give or take) months she has been a part of the family, I think he has only ever intentionally been unkind to her once.  I think that is pretty impressive.  Usually he dotes on her, plays with her, and wants to take care of her.  She is lucky to have him as a big brother.

I have also been seeing this at school.  Since I am his teacher, I get the rare opportunity to see him in a social setting with his peers.  The other kids in the class are drawn to him and I think that is because he is always kind, always plays by the rules.  In one of our preschool classes in particular it is a problem everyday because several kids want to sit next to Merrick at circle time.  I have watched him talk to his friends and work out a schedule where he sits by some one time and different ones the next time.  He always follows through and even when it is the girls' turn to sit by him (and I know he would rather sit by the boys), he tells the boys that it is the girls' turn to sit by him and that he will sit by them next time.  I think the ability to put another child's desires ahead of his own is really rare for a child his age.

I am so proud to be the mama to this smart, kind little boy.  Just don't mess with him during wrestling time because he will take you down.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Carrigan at 10-months

This past week Carrigan turned 10-months-old and, like so many times before, I knew I needed to get out our trusty "Sticky Bellies" to mark the occasion, but life has been so busy and crazy that I was late in getting it done.  Yesterday I decided that I could not put it off any longer and one way or another we were going to get it done.  The result was that rather than the perfect pictures I usually try for, I got pictures of real life; the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Things started out fairly well

And then this is where she decided she wanted the camera and when I would not give it to her that her life was coming to an end

And then this is were she decided that she was done siting for pictures and and that she would rather crawl away and go explore her room

And then this was when she decided she was really done, the bow was coming off, and she she was going to play with her toys.

So that is CC, the REAL CC, at 10-months.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Come Ride the Roller Coaster

I think it is true that life in general is like a roller coaster.  None of us is immune, we all have highs and we all have lows.  I do, however, feel like my life has been particularly roller coastery lately.  I am sure that comes with the territory.

I have a husband who is about to graduate and is looking of work.  With that comes the built in highs and lows of finding a job that looks interesting and exciting and applying, only to never here anything or moving forward with an interview process, only to have it not work out.  I try (and do my best to help Jeremy try) to stay positive.  It is difficult now because not many companies want to talk to him since he is not quite ready to go to work, but it should get easier the closer we get to graduation.  Then you have to balance to emotions of wanting to get closer to graduation so job hunting is easier, but being increasing nervous of graduation since you don't have a job and don't know what the future holds.  AND this is just one area of my life that has me feeling like I am on a roller coaster that just won't stop.

You may remember a few weeks back that I posted that I was going through something with my health and was really having a hard time.  Well, I think I am ready to talk about it, so here goes...About a month ago I was diagnosed with alopecia areata.  For those of you who don't know what that is, it is an autoimmune disorder where your body decides your hair is the enemy and begins to attack it.  I have alopecia areata which, as you may gather, means only spots or areas of my hair are effected.  I am unbelievably fortunate in that all of my spots (5-7 depending on how you count them) are all somewhere underneath the mound of hair I have on top of my head.  Really no one can see them or tell the difference unless I was to show them.  Nevertheless, this diagnosis hit me really hard.  We had no way of knowing how quickly or how much it would spread and what percentage of my hair would be effected and it was both a blessing and a curse that very few people knew what was going on.

This week I had my first follow-up since my initial diagnosis and treatment.  The doctor was extremely encouraged.  He said that the progression seems to have stopped and that the regrowth is just about as good as we could have possibly hoped for.  Some of the spots had enough regrowth that they did not need another treatment and he felt that that may be the last treatment for the rest of the spots.  He said that most of the patients he sees recover and put this in their past and he was confident I was doing the same.

Also this last week, and please don't take the fact that I am writing about it last as that I think it the least important because I don't, we found out my aunt has breast cancer.  It was a whirlwind of a few days from the time she found out to when she had a mastectomy.  Initially there was concern that it had spread, but we have since gotten the news that it appears to have been contained and the doctor is fairly certain he got it all.  Obviously this was a huge relief.

While I do feel particularly challenged lately, I also recognize the huge blessings that I have seen both in my life and the lives of those close to me.  For those worries and concerns that are still outstanding, I put my trust in the Lord that things will work out the way he intends and I am comfortable with that.