Thursday, March 06, 2008

An Update on the "T" of Team MEAT

Here I am in October. I basically look the same now.
I lost 30 pounds, and kept it off!

  • I (Trista) had a big resolution for 2008. To save money. So far, using a service that tracks local area grocery store sales and combines them with weekly coupons, I have saved almost 40% off my groceries since the beginning of the year. And the percentage is going up each week! Also, my neighbor (Kool Neighbor Kim) and I started a cooking club with 6 moms, where we each cook six batches of a meal once a month and swap them. This has saved us from eating out (the biggest discretionary hit to our budget). I've also been cooking on my own a lot, and have actually been enjoying it! Who would have thought I had a domestic bone in my body. ;)
  • About 6 weeks ago, I started to realize that I was experiencing a lot of unexplained anxiety. I would have all of the physical symptoms of anxiety, that would be triggered by the most minor things. I often felt like someone was sitting on my chest, and I couldn't breathe. My mood has been generally negative and I alternate from wanting to cry to wanting to scream. After a few weeks, where the symptoms weren't going away or getting better, I began to recognize that I was probably experiencing a chemical imbalance. I saw my doctor, and we decided to try Zoloft. Zoloft made me nauseous all day long. Today, I am switching to Citalopram (aka Celexa). I should see an improvement in mood after 2 weeks. Here's to hoping! Anxiety has been very draining on me (and my family), and I have been functioning at about 30% of normal. It will be nice to be "me" again!
  • I recently found out that there may be an opening next year for a teachers' aide position at the kids' preschool. I have been thinking for several months now that my ideal job once the kids are in school would be an aide. I love working in the classroom with the kids (I've been volunteering quite a bit), I don't need to work for a lot of money (preschool teachers are ridiculously underpaid), I don't want a job with a lot of responsibility at this stage in my life, and I want to work part time while the kids are in school. Sounds like the perfect fit to me! I contacted the director, who is very interested, and we'll be meeting soon to talk about it. I am praying that this might be the direction God is pointing me toward. I would prefer to start working after Ethan is in kindergarten (in two years), but would not mind starting early if the job becomes available. Send a little prayer up for me.
  • I am starting to plan our two major vacations this year. The first is in May --- we are going on a joint vacation with Jennifer, Danny, Emma and Allison to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It will be a nice week away from our regular lives, and we are renting a beautiful chalet complete with kitchen, living room and HOT TUB right in the unit. Sounds like heaven to me!
  • The second vacation is to celebrate Mark's and my tenth wedding anniversary (which will be May 23rd). I can't believe it will be 10 years already!! We thought it would be fun to share our vacation with Mark's parents, who will be celebrating 35 years in May. So the four of us are heading to Seattle in August for a week of sight seeing, in a city that Mark and I have always been interested in visiting. It will be so much fun! And it will also be the longest we've been away from the kids at one time... a little daunting for me. But they will be under excellent care here, primarily their cousin Courtney. It's so great to have loving family to count on!!
  • Kool Neighbor Kim and I are taking a pilates/yoga class. It made me realize just how out of shape I really am. Our instructor seems nice enough, but by the end she turns into the Pilates Nazi, whipping us into shape. I am always really sore on Thursday mornings.

I think that's all there is to report for now. I'll try not to let 3 months slip by before posting again. :)

An Update on the "E" of Team MEAT

"Ahoy, Matey!"
  • Ethan will turn four at the end of May (gasp!)
  • When Ethan turned 3-1/2, he suddenly became more defiant. Like a lightswitch was flipped. He's growing out of it a little bit, but it is just so strange to see him acting up in ways he didn't previously. He's becoming his own little man.
  • Ethan has stopped seeing things as uni-sex and now makes distinctions between "boy" things and "girl" things. Sigh. He doesn't love the color pink anymore, and that makes me a little sad.
  • Ethan's birthmom is expecting another baby in the fall. They are placing the baby for adoption with a couple who doesn't have any children yet. Mark and I are still a little conflicted about whether it is good news or sad news that the baby won't be in our home.
  • Ethan is becoming very aware of his adoptee status and what that means. He likes to hear about how we met his birthfamily for the first time (while he was in his birthmom's tummy) and how he came to live with us. He also likes to hear about Abby's adoption. [Abby has yet to talk about her adoption or ask questions.]
  • I predict that Ethan will be reading before kindergarten. He can already identify the starting letter of any word that he hears, and just yesterday tried to spell our last name phonetically using the refrigerator letters. He loves words.
  • Ethan will be taking a sports sampler class this spring, and he can hardly wait. He asks every day "how many more days until I can play kickball, and t-ball, and soccer, and basketball and hockey??" He imagines he's going to have a team jersey with a number on the back. I think he may be a little disappointed. ;)
  • Even though Ethy is "all-boy" right now, he still loves to hug his Mom. Yippee!

An Update on the "A" of Team MEAT

Stringing Beads

  • Abby is 4-1/2. She will be 5 in August.
  • Abby takes a ballet/tap class one hour a week, for 4 & 5 year olds. She has been loving the class, and has learned a lot of different dance steps. She will be part of a recital at the end of May - I can't believe I have a child old enough to be in a recital already!!
  • Abby has always had ups and down in her behavior. She is a spirited child. She does things that she wants to do, when she wants to do them. This is a difficult fit for a school environment. Or a church environment. Or a home environment (sometimes-- we can definitely be more accomodating and forgiving). November, December and January were very good months, behavior-wise, on the "Abby Scale" (which differs greatly from most other kids). February and this part of March have not been good, especially this past week. She "stole" four things from school/church/other kids over the past two weeks. She hasn't been obeying her teachers at school. And yesterday, she went over to the craft center in her classroom and cut off a few handfuls of her hair. She has also been sleeping a lot (3+ hour naps!), which usually indicates a growth spurt. And bad behavior is always part of a growth spurt. I just hope this one is quick.
  • Abby can write all of her letters now, upper and lower case. She is still working on numbers (there is no interest in them at this point, so learning is slower). She is very good at cutting with scissors, and she can draw well when she is interested. Otherwise, just big scribbles.
  • Our current plan is to put Abby into kindergarten in the fall, vs. Young Fives. Her preschool teachers and Mark and I feel that Abby is more than capable to handle the workload of Kindergarten. She is very bright, and when she is interested in something or is paying enough attention, she easily picks it up. She struggles with focus, especially when the classroom is buzzing with activity. Mark and I don't feel that holding her back from kindergarten for a year will change much for Abby, other than another year of maturity. She may always struggle with focus. We need to find a way for her to be able to focus herself when need be.
  • Abby has really blossomed socially in the past 6 months. She has lots of friends at school. She is the social butterfly at any public children's place that we go. She is really enjoying playing with kids her own age now, and doesn't spend her time shadowing The Slightly Older Girl (TSOG).
  • Abby's favorite things in the world are beautiful or fragile treasures. She has a large crystal that she received from Gammers and Grampa that is her most prized possession right now (her "magic jewel").
  • Abby loves to feel like she is older and has responsibility.

An Update on the "M" of Team MEAT

Sledding on New Year's Day with our friends Andre and Anna (we had a BLAST!)

Well, it has been a long while since an update, so here is a brief synopsis of what has been going on with our head-of-household, Mark (aka Marky Doodle).
  • Mark has been working wicked overtime lately. Huge deadline at work. That has been lingering well beyond the original deadline of 3 weeks ago. Lots of nights on the laptop until 10:00 or 11:00, when he falls into bed and wakes up the next day to be at work by 7:00. Supposedly, the real deadline is tomorrow. We shall see.
  • Mark turned 33 last month (happy birthday, Babe!) He had breakfast in bed prepared by the kids, along with cool pictures they drew for him. He bought himself a writing tablet for the computer (which he's been yearning for for a few years now). Now he can do his doodling on the computer as well as paper. :)
  • I recently found out that Mark does not share my love of artichokes. I was shocked. I told him that for him to keep such an important thing from me for all these years is an indicator of trouble in our marriage. ;) just kidding.
  • Mark shaved off his mustache before Christmas (I think?). Only 4 people have noticed since then. That cracks me up.
  • Not much else to say about Mark. With no free time, he hasn't had much going on. We're trying desperately to plan a vacation to an indoor waterpark, but can't come up with a date that will work for all four members of our family until April. When did we get so busy??