4 Months and Counting

24 07 2017

I need to preface this post by saying that I actually wrote it about 4 months ago.  Life is different ~ absolutely better ~ and it has either gotten easier or I have just adjusted to the new norm of 6am being a sleep in day (but to be honest, I can’t remember the last time I slept until 6am).

 I re-read my post today and it still holds true to exactly what I was feeling back then (not some distorted sleep deprived reality) when I wrote it in the wee hours of the morning many months ago.  

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I think it’s time to take a detour (hopefully brief) from all of the typical travel blog posts and talk about a new adventure that I have been experiencing: motherhood.

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I have to say, the transition from ‘mother-to-be’ to ‘new mom’ has been a rocky one.  Perhaps it is because I loved being pregnant – I was definitely one of the lucky ones – I felt great 90% of the pregnancy, it didn’t stop me from doing what I wanted to, and apparently I ‘glowed’.

To be honest, sometimes I still mourn the loss of that role and sometimes I feel a twinge of jealousy when I see a pregnant woman walking down the street, or when I heard that Beyonce was pregnant with twins!  There is just something magical about the potential of being pregnant.  You read up on all of the crazy things that are happening to and inside of your body, you spend hours looking over baby name lists and you plan and visualize exactly how you want your labour and delivery experience to be.

What you don’t realize and what you can’t understand when you’re pregnant for the first time, even when people tell it to you, is that you have very little control over how your baby comes into this world.  Right up until two days before my babies were born, I knew that I was going to have December babies, we would call our doula over to the house when I went into labour, of course it would be during the evening/night and then we would make our way to the hospital…and then the rest of what would happen was always kind of blurry, I just knew what kind of beginning I wanted to have, with little thought to the end I guess.

Since crossing that invisible line of ‘mother-to-be’ to ‘new mom’ I have realized that that is the key to my emotional turmoil.  I am a very good student, and I studied up on everything I could get my hands on about twin pregnancies and then, when the babies finally did make their appearance (in November!) and opposite in almost every way that I had imagined, all of my studying and everything that I had learned had no use anymore.  All of a sudden I was in a new school, with a different set of rules, and I was behind.

As I walked slowly through the waiting room at my OB’s office six days after having my twin girls, I felt like my world had shifted.  The last time I walked through the front door of that waiting room, seven days prior, I never left, and instead was wheeled out the back entrance to the hospital.  I looked around the room at all of the other woman in various stages of pregnancy, and I just thought…’you don’t even know!’  And I know that that’s not fair to say since not all of these women were going through their first pregnancy, but I truly felt like I was in that room, no longer a naïve ‘mother-to-be’ but someone who knew something that you can’t know until you know – and it had changed me forever.

All of a sudden I have these two new little bosses in town.

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And they are in control of my life like no parent, teacher or employer ever has been.  They control when I sleep, when I eat, and even when I go to the bathroom.  They often make me question the last time I brushed my teeth or washed my hair….and laundry….if it wasn’t pooped on, it probably isn’t getting done.  Perhaps the most maddening part of this new super-controlled lifestyle, is that there is no rhyme or reason, no set schedule that you can wrap your head around and make sense of.  You just have to simply get used to eating cold food, drinking cold tea, taking 15 minute cat naps and holding it.  And some days you just lower your expectations and don’t even try to eat, sleep or go to the bathroom…and on those days, well….inevitably emotional breakdowns take place.

I would like to say, ‘it gets better every day’, but sometimes it doesn’t.  I think I could possibly say, ‘it gets better every week’, because sometimes it did, but I can definitely say that ‘it gets better every month’.  Those first few weeks were full of tears and a lot of confusion.  I literally cried over ‘spilled milk’.  Our ‘solid as a rock’ relationship took on some blows.  I felt desperate to make sense of these two new babies in our lives and try not to question their presence and long for life (and the freedom) pre-babies.  So I spent a lot of time reading articles/blogs and buying things on amazon that I thought would help some aspect of our new way of life: swaddle pods with velcro, a second rock n’ play, a second bjorn bouncer, a bottle washing brush, clothes that the babies would actually fit, more clothes because we already outgrew the other ones, and the list continues.  I read an article that said you should disconnect your credit card from your amazon account when you have a baby….I can see their point.

I walked into our two month pediatrician appointment asking about sleep training schedules and I think I surprised our doctor when I told her I had just read a sleep training book for twins.  When I think about how busy my days are now, at almost 4 months post-baby, I don’t know when I found the time to read a book.  But, then I realized, it was because I wasn’t sleeping.  You can get a lot of things done when you’re not sleeping.  Until you can’t get anything done because you’re not sleeping.  Now I am getting ready for bed at 7:30pm.

During my pregnancy and during the first few weeks/months as a new mom, what I have wanted more than anything in this world….was for someone to give me a definitive answer.  Just tell me what to do, and I will do it!  Breastfeeding.  Pumping.  Formula supplementing.  Sleep training.  Dealing with crying babies.  What I now realize, is that when it comes to pregnancy, labour and delivery, breastfeeding, babies in general, is that the most common answer you will hear is, ‘it depends’.  And what am I supposed to do with that??!

We have made it to four months with twin girls.  Sometimes I still cry when I look at their faces (out of love now, and not sleep deprivation…ok sometimes sleep deprivation).  I often want (and sometimes give in) to turn on the light at night and watch them sleep.  They watch me from across the room with their big eyes.  They give me wide mouth Buddha baby grins.  They light up and sing along to the ABC song.  I could watch Nathan playing with them forever.  And I can’t believe how they have their grandparents and aunts and uncles (and the rest of the family) wrapped around their little fingers.

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Needless to say, my life is forever changed.

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Just a Little Bird Watching

23 06 2015

You just never know when wildlife is going to appear at your window.  Recently there have been videos bouncing around with orca whale sightings in Burrard Inlet – which have made me SUPER jealous.  One day I hope to be in the right place at the right time.

In the meantime, I shall pack the camera on random errands….just in case.

And although I do not have any whale sightings to report, we did manage to have quite the bird watching day recently.

First we enjoyed the sights of a sleepy Saturday morning aboard the Southworth ferry.
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And although we had only planned to run some errands in Port Orchard and have lunch in Poulsbo, we took a little detour to Seabeck to enjoy the views.

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We caught a Sea Gull enjoying some lunch…

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And a Great Blue Heron that looks like she’s curtsying for an unseen audience…

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And then we were WOW’d by a Bald Eagle sitting on a telephone pole, like he was overseeing his pride lands.

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I am still impressed at how big these eagles are.  You can’t really tell when they’re circling up in the sky.  But, when this eagle started getting harassed by the crows and took to the skies for a little bit of size intimidation…well it’s pretty obvious he’s just a little bigger than the crow.

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I’d be pretty intimidated if this was coming at me – talons first.





Beauty in the Mist

8 10 2014

It is amazing that on one day I can see this:

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Seattle Skyline – View from West Seattle

And a couple of days later, I see this:

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View of Elliott Bay – No Skyline in Sight and some very hardcore paddle boarders

The Fog did lift a little bit while I was out on my walk to reveal sights like this….

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Can’t pass up a good photo op (of a photo op)

On this dreary foggy morning I had to force myself out of the house.  The reason I gave myself:  it’s not raining.  Yes it was gray and foggy out, and there was a lot of moisture – some might say mist – in the air.  But it wasn’t raining.  And we’re on the cusp of the season where, if it’s not raining out it’s pretty much the equivalent of a sunny day in the summer – you have to take advantage.

But as I walked along the waterfront walkways, trying my hardest to see something, anything in the whitish gray fog, I found a couple of things that caught my eye.

On a normal day these wispy plants catch my attention long enough for me to trail my fingers along their tips as I walk by.  But today, when they were heavy with dew – these dew drops earned at least 5 minutes of my attention.  Hard to take photos when they’re swaying in the wind – and although you don’t see it in the photo – my fingers are holding these strands in place after one too many blurry photo.

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And then I came across something that I couldn’t resist.  People probably thought I was crazy, standing with my back to the water, squeezed on a 6 inch ledge between the water and a tree.  And although I hate…HATE spider webs – when they’re all glittery and sparkly with dew drops, they become irresistible to me.

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Transitioning: Summer to Fall

8 10 2014

Now that green is starting to ease into yellow, orange and red and a crispness is starting to add a little snap to the air, I’m starting to reminisce on my summer moments.

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Maybe I was ‘living in the moment’ and really living in the experience rather than thinking about how I was going to re-tell the story.  Or maybe I was too busy trying to pack as much activity into the warm weather as possible that I rushed through one activity in search of the next.  Either way, Fall is approaching, and with the changing of the leaves brings just enough transition that it’s made me pause in place and gather photos from the summer.

Everyone goes through the transition from Summer to Fall.  Preparation for hibernation perhaps?  The excitement to bring back over-sized sweaters, cuddly scarves and of course those Fall boots!  I have a love-hate relationship with said boots.  I spend my days admiring the different boots that I see prancing down the street – chocolate brown, black, wedge heel, flat stomping boots, sleek and stylish high-heeled boots.  Needless to say, I have boot envy.  I see everyone looking fantastic in their fall boots – really the perfect accessory for fall outfits.  But whenever I find myself on the hunt for the perfect boots I end up frustrated and sad because, after all, I carry my height in my torso.  I have short legs and athletic calves.  The worst combination!  Which essentially means that boots don’t fit me – even the ones with extended calf sizes 😦

But enough about the boots.  I find myself on a tangent as meandering as the paths I hope to stroll through this Fall – stomping through all of the fallen leaves and hearing that satisfying ‘crunch crunch crunch‘ as I walk.

Finally I’m looking back at what took place this summer – a summer that took Seattle by surprise with day after day of 80+ degree weather.

Seattle Sights:

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The Great Wheel

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Kayaking around Alki

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Making Discoveries!

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Alki Sunsets

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Great Friends…

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And Ferry Boats.

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Mt. Rainier Sunsets

Exploring the ‘wilderness’ of Port Orchard:

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Whirlwind Work Trips in Chicago:

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Chicago Art

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Chicago Architecture

Home (Vancouver):

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Vancouver Icon – ‘Canada Place’

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Sunsets at Vancouver Harbour

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Deer Lake Park

Food – delicious, beautiful, tasty morsels of goodness!

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Neapolitan Style Pizza

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Farmer Fresh Artisanal Snack Plates

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Chocolate Covered Figs

It feels like the summer was over in a blink but at the same time, with so many consecutive days of sunshine, it seemed like it was gorgeous day after gorgeous day – which puts a lot of pressure on a person.  Especially a person from the Pacific Northwest, where you cannot take sunshine for granted and on each sunny day you feel pressure to kick yourself out of bed and DO something.  Anything really.  You’ve got to head straight to those walking/running paths, be in or on the water, be at the farmers market every weekend, and eat and drink on every patio you come across.  By the time Fall arrives you’re just exhausted from all of those sunny days and secretly wishing for a rainy day so you don’t have to feel so guilty for spending a day inside watching movies (or a How I met your mother/Orange is the new black/House of Cards marathon).  

LOVED summer.  LOVE summer.  But (as I look right and left and duck my head) I’m kind of ready for Fall.  I’m sure in a month, when Seattle descends into its Grey season and there are more rainy days than not rainy days, I will take back those words – but for now, after over 40 days of 80+ degree weather this summer – I’m ready for an excuse to have a lazy day.





My Football Education

21 11 2013

Growing up, my football education began with watching my dad watch a football game at my yin yin’s house (my grandmother on my dad’s side) after we had had a great Chinese meal, one that I still haven’t been able to find at any Chinese restaurant.  We had to wait until the football game ended before heading to my other grandma’s house, and all I could think of was, ‘How can this game be going on for so long?  It says 5 minutes left!  And it’s been 20 minutes!’

My second experience with football was in Grade 12 when our high school got a football team and in honour of the first home game, school was let out early, in hopes that everyone would go watch the game.  And I thought, ‘really?  School gets out early for a football game?  What about the arts?’

My first year of University I went to the annual Shrum Bowl, the SFU vs UBC big rival game.  And I really just remember that we went to cheer on my friend on the cheerleading team and that I questioned my judgement to wear a skirt to a football game in October…in Vancouver…

A couple years later I went to my first CFL game after getting a couple extra tickets when I was working at Big Sisters.   I took one of my guy friends, because I figured if I was going to go to a game, I might as well take someone who could explain it to me.  Again, all I remember is telling my friend that we had to buy beer and hot dogs, because, ‘isn’t that what one does at a football game?’.  

Finally, at age 30, I get it.  I took my husband to a Seahawks vs Vikings game for his birthday.  We left with friends and neighbours at 10am, were drinking local craft beer by 10:30am at a pub that has free hot dogs on game day, and rode the wave of the crowds around the stadium to make it just in time for kick off.

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Century Link on Game Day

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Moments before Kick Off

I cheered, I jumped, I screamed out ‘Interference!’ and ‘I need to see an Interception and a Touch Down!  That’s all I’m asking for!’.  We high five’d everyone around us, jokingly mocked the Vikings fans around us (all in good fun), and drank beer and ate foot long hot dogs.

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Touch Down!

We stood in the rain and cheered on Russell Wilson as he led the Seahawks to a 41 to 20 victory.

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Seahawks Win! And the crowd takes the field!

And, like all good Sunday Football game days, I was hung over by 6pm and ready for bed at 7pm.

I’ve never watched more football in my life, and this time, I actually watched the game.

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Back to the Basics

20 11 2013

Sometimes you just have to get outdoors, break it all down and keep it simple.  Just the two of us on a little road trip, staying in a cabin with no TV or internet, and enjoying some quality time in the good ol’ outdoors.

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Road to Roosevelt Beach

We spent 24 hours on the western side of the Olympic National Park and took in the empty beaches with crazy winds and loud, thundering waves.  It was so windy, it was hard to open the car door and once I was on the beach, it felt like I could barely breathe.

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Ocean Shores

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Driftwood? Or Loch Ness?

It was a crazy feeling to be speeding along the hard-packed sand of Ocean Shores Beach, parallel to the waves and splashing around where you don’t feel like you belong, but a great way to make use of our all wheel drive.   Seeing the tides come in was just a reminder of how powerful the ocean is.

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We made a return trip to Ruby Beach for sunset and enjoyed some solitude watching the sea stacks in the distance at Roosevelt Beach.

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#instagraming

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Solitude at Roosevelt Beach

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Just the Two of Us

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Our final outdoorsy adventure before heading back to the city was a jaunt into the forest on the way to Sol Duc Falls.  Lots of swirling water, and apparently I’m obsessed with mushrooms…..

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And on a final note…..we saw a bunch of people razor clam digging.  Now, I might be might be old school, and maybe I’m used to little neck clams, but ‘clam guns’??  It just doesn’t seem sportsmanlike!  It’s supposed to be you and a trowel and the speed that you can dig against the clam.  None of this pvc pipe with a plunger to trap the clam and take all the sand out in one swoop!

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Watching people on a hunt for razor clams with Clam Guns!





Getting Back to Words

1 11 2013

Right now I feel like I’m living in a life of spreadsheets.  A life of numbers and formulas, of cells and columns and rows.  It’s been a long time since I wrote anything on the blog (sorry).  Part of it is procrastination and another part is probably because I compare my current adventures with my past adventures and come up lacking.  Last year around this time of year (end of summer into Fall), I had a writing hiatus too.  And the thing is, it’s not like we haven’t had adventures, travelled, experienced weird and random things and taken photos of it all.

Truthfully, I should probably change the name of the blog.  Not necessarily ‘Adventures on the Road’ anymore since we stopped criss-crossing across the US and living out of hotel rooms and instead put down roots and have called Seattle, WA home for a good year now.  We have packed away the ‘big enough to live out of’ suitcases and instead have a 2 – 3 day trip bag on standby at all times.  We may not have ‘Adventures on the Road’ anymore, but we still have adventures, and the reason why you haven’t heard about them is because I haven’t felt inspired to write the stories.  I haven’t had the post write itself in my head while I’m sitting staring out the window or lying in bed.  I haven’t thought of the perfect opening sentence.  In my free time, and I admit, I have quite a bit of free time on my hands, I have buried my head in spreadsheets, forecasted revenues, worried over expenses that just keep adding up, and also played stupid games on the ipad that take up hours of my day.  It’s kind of like I gave up on writing.  I embraced and leaned towards excel spreadsheets instead of Microsoft word.  But, I can’t blame all of my writer’s block on spreadsheets and counting money.  I also have used these excuses not to write, ‘yes the photos are nice, but we never made it to the top of the hike, so should I just wait until we finish the hike one day’ or ‘I can’t do a post about this trip now because we’re planning on going again with someone else and it’ll ruin the surprise’, or maybe the best (worst) excuse, ‘it’s too sunny in Seattle now to post because I wanted to talk about how it’s foggy and gray and I needed to revisit the sunshine’.  Lots of excuses.  Weak.  I know.  Excuses no more.

This past weekend we took a trip to Seattle’s Woodland Zoo with their annual Halloween festivities.  I had my eyes on the hunt for my beloved lion costume with the big mane, but sadly, no luck.  In exchange we were rewarded by antics by the real lion cubs and their mom playing with pumpkins.  And if these cute one year old lion cubs rolling around on their backs, thumping their back feet against the pumpkin like a cat with a toy, don’t make your heart melt and make you think about the time you held a lion cub in your arms and had lion fur on your sweater…..then I don’t know what will.

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1 year old Lion Cubs at Woodland Zoo

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Brothers

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Baby Girl

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Proud Mama

And one last photo, which I think, tells its own story….and goes something like this,

Hmmpth, I’m not talking to you anymore.’ 

What did I say?  I asked you if you wanted any…’

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Spousal Dispute