Friday, March 28, 2014

First Week of Spring

Hello, hello!

So I haven't written for the past week, which also happens to be the first official week of Spring, so I am here to give ya'll an update :)

Here is an overview of the week:

So, since I last wrote, it's been just over a week.
Last Thursday, March 20th, was the official Start of Spring and boy did it feel like it!
We had Ella's lovely friends over and enjoyed the sunshine on a nice long walk:

My favorite trio :)

I love it when they all hold hands :)

Strike a pose!

 Ella Rose and I then wrapped it up with an impromtu "Girls' Night Out". :)
We attended the Corvallis Art Center's Howland Community Art Open which featured one of Ella's works!

Her favorite color, purple both in her painting and on her :)
There was some really impressive works there. Reminded me how much artistic talent there is in our community. You could even set a price for your piece for sale. I marked Ella's as "Priceless...OBO" Ha!

After that, we ate at McMenamin's and then had dessert at Yogurt Extreme. Just the two of us!! :)
It was sweet and fun. I do love my little (big!) girl!!

Trying to pull off the "duck lips". Ha!
I don't quite recall how I then spent Friday, Saturday, nor Sunday...
Just general yard work as I set about clearing out the carport for my first Azure delivery... more on that another time, I promise ;)

Monday was particularly noteworthy as it was the most beautiful and warmest day of the year so far. A whopping 71 or so degrees, and we spent most of that day on the beautiful property of すや and her family who run a bamboo farm just outside of Albany.

Ella loved getting to climb on the jungle gym of bamboo they'd erected~
I had first met the family through Ella's Waldorf Little Acorns class, and it was good to reconnect with them again -- especially after I heard that Ella will be going into the same kindergarten class as their youngest, ライラ~! Too cool :) I really dig this family's lifestyle, enjoyment of the natural world, and DIY values! They're land is like a bonafide homestead!

William squealed quite a bit about the baby chicks. But doesn't his head look big and inflated like a balloon here?
The 外薗 family was also there and it so good to see my dear friends again ♡ 果恵 is such a perceptive, smart, and funny woman -- she reminded me how important it is to take care of myself, since lately I've really been piling things on my plate, no matter how much I try to rationalize that it is all just fine and I am fine.

So I made a real effort the remainder of the week (which was Spring Break, I might add) doing low-key activities with the kids in lieu of big, complicated outings. Oh! And before the Break started, I had told Dash I wanted to really make it a "TV Free Week"...which is exactly how it turned out, without a single fuss made! It's like...the good weather was just the impetus we needed to get outta the house, and then after that, my resolve to plan less and just be with the kids, meant they never felt bored/neglected to the point of just wanting to have something to entertain them. Buya! :)
I hope this TV-freeness can last since I think it's made for a general better energy in the house, less whining, and the kids really diving into their play in a deep and satisfying way for all~

On Tuesday, we went on a farm outing as a field trip with William's Little Acorns class. It was cool that the kids got to have back-to-back farm experiences (heh) but the drizzly weather meant it wasn't quite as nice as the bamboo outing.

Oh, I should also note that three days in a row, William "progressed" in three different ways:

1) starting jumping in a way where his feet really leave the ground. Wow!
2) took to the non-baby swings at the park (video below!)
3) mastered buckling and unbuckling his carseat belt! @_@

All pretty neat (save for the car seat escape antic) and just overall good reminders that he is always growing, even if I may not notice it since I'm, like, in super close proximity to him all the time.

As you can hear in the video, he's also communicating quite a bit, even if it is mostly pretty demanding-sounding. I am still working on him saying "I love you", but usually when I try to have him repeat after me, he replies with "...hi."
Maybe that is his way of saying I Love You? :D

Let's see...what else...

Wednesday was really a day of baking and being in the kitchen with both kids. So fun!
We made oat bake, crackers, and a yummy spaghetti+meatball dinner. Yum!
I love making crackers for the family, and must be more diligent about it since it's not hard at all and the kids get a real kick out of them. Especially because they get to cut them into fun shapes.

As for me, I think part of the reason I haven't been updating as regularly is because I've been really absorbed in this audiobook I'm listening to. It's Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" and I am really nearing the end of it!! Will write my own little "review" of it when I am finally done.

Well, that is all for now.
Today is technically Dash's birthday!!!! But I will cover our celebrations of it tomorrow ;)

Until then, take care and I hope you enjoyed your First Week of Spring!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Four Good Things! :)

Hey everybody!

So I am here to report some Good Things that have happened to me -- and all in one day! :)

I will go in chronological order...

So, the first Good Thing to happen was I finally went to a dermatologist about this skin issue I've been having and the diagnosis was great!

You see, I haven't mentioned it on the blog, but pretty much ever since December, I've been battling with really red/bumpy cheeks and face. I thought I was picking at my face subconsciously and irritating it. Then I thought it may have been hormones from suddenly stopping breastfeeding after almost five years. Then I thought I might be suddenly gluten-intolerant (Corvallis rubbing off on me??) >_<

How it started off... Just "rosy cheeks", right? :P

Convinced that it wasn't anything serious/medical, I tried an esthetician who talked me into buying this expensive line-up of cleanser-moisturizers because she thought it was just extremely dry skin. Then when that didn't seem to be working (maybe making it worse??), I asked my mom to prescribe me oral antibiotics since I had taken them for a short spell in December and could've sworn they did the job... But after another week or zero improvement, I went with topical hydrocortison which I was applying like four times a day >_<
I had no itching, so I didn't think it was what I was looking for, my mom (a doc) encouraged me to try it
It would "seem" to be working (as did all the prior treatments) for the first day/hour/etc...but inevitably the redness would come back...and new bumps would appear!
Eventually, it got to this:
Guh, this is hard for me to look at >_< Definitely not getting better!!

Truth be told, I am still at that point because I only just found out what I am really dealing with (the Good Thing that happened this morning):


Have you ever heard of rosacea?
I had because my aunt had it and it always just looked like she had cute rosy cheeks. No big deal, right?
And then I saw this post on imgur about a girl who had rosacea and it looked like she had the Godzilla version of it, so I never considered that that could be what I was dealing with.

But lo, it is!
And it just felt so good to finally have an expert take a good hard look at it and say with confidence, "Ah yes, I see rosacea has blossomed on your face. We can take care of this."

What it means is taking metronidazole cream + an oral antibiotic for a while and being strict about protecting my face from the sun via sunscreen and wide-brimmed hats...forever!
But at least I don't have to give up gluten! Hurray! Though in terms of altering my diet, I would probably benefit from cutting back on alcohol, caffeine and other possible triggers. No harm there, though, since a little less alcohol or caffeine can only ever do good, eh? ;)

You know, reading up on rosacea now, I think I may have technically started developing it when I was pregnant with William and I started having just this little bit of redness on either side of my lips that I attributed to (you guessed it) "them crazy pregnancy hormones."
Well, now it's gone full-blown and I am just glad that I saw a specialist when I did and didn't wait any longer nor slap any other products. Guh!

So there you have it.
A long story, but only Part One of the four-part chain of Good Things that happened today :)

The next Good Thing to happen, was that I got called back from Corvallis Waldorf School, and Ella's been accepted into the kindergarten program, which starts next Fall! :)
You see, we had her little interview with the teachers (Mary and Anne Marie) just yesterday and I was already getting a little antsy, wondering if/when we'd get the okay. Not that I thought they'd call and say, "yeah, your daughter is not welcome here..." but still it was good news to hear!

Now to start the financial aid application process...heh.

Speaking of financial aid, here is Good Thing #3:
I finally heard back from Good Samaritan regarding the financial assistance I had requested in regards to the psycho bill I got for that little stint I had in the hospital last July. I was in there for a total of about four or so hours.
And guess what I was billed:

The bill came in September and I've just been reeling and ill in the stomach thinking about it.
Most expensive four hours in my life for sure.

But thank the lord, I applied for financial assistance, explained my entire financial situation...and they have agreed to foot 80% of the bill!!!!!!!
Granted that still leaves me with $900 or so pay them (which I still think is so crazy for how short my stay and how they didn't even figure out where my ailment was coming from)...but it's not $4k+ so that is good.

And speaking of money, the last Good Thing of today was....
a coupon came in the mail for the local "Natural Grocers" store for 1 lb. of organic grass-fred happy cow ground beef...for FREE.
So I will be fixing that up for tomorrow night's meal, me thinks ;)

Well, that is all for now.
What a big doozy of a day!
I must be honest, there was one shitty (literally!) thing that happened today, and that is that while at the park, William randomly crapped his pants...and it tumbled out onto the ground!!!! Oh the horror, shock, and embarrassment >_<
Thankfully, it was easy to clean and William got the clear message that we do not poop in our pants~!

I hope you have all had a good day too.
What Good Things have happened to you?

Until next time, take care and Happy Good Things!!