So since we’re in town for a bit, I decided to check out news from the area. We have this thing in my family – a tradition that was started by my great, great-grandmother. Wherever we are, we are not allowed to leave without learning something about the place. Jayden is now just about old enough to appreciate and enjoy this.
Well, it was sure perfect timing as that morning in the local newspaper, the Post Register I read about a disabled man from Idaho Falls who’d won the lottery, cashing in $200,000! Winner Donny Jones was said to have been “in shock” and of course delighted at the news. His plans are to pay off his bills first. What lovely news. This really was just what we needed. I feel like there’s so much bad news around the whole time that this was just lovely.
I shared the whole thing with Jayden. I asked him what he would want to give someone with a disability if he could give them anything in the world. He paused for a while and then said, “something to make them really smile.” Well, this lottery winning ticket sure did that for Jones. Just keep these great feel-good stories coming Idaho Falls!
We’d been promising to go see Aunt Laura for months. It just hadn’t happened. And then she’d had a fall and ended up having to have a hip replacement surgery. So at that point (the surgery happened 2 weeks ago), I knew we couldn’t put it off any longer. It’s a bit of a long journey though – all the way to Idaho Falls – so I planned on staying a few days.
Once we got there, we hung out with Laura a bit (Daniel didn’t come as he has a deadline; I was mighty impressed with myself that thanks to my amazing new GPS I was able to – with confidence – drive all the way by myself to her home). We spread the drive out over 2 days (even though non-stop it would have taken about 11 hours) and the kids were amazing. I was actually dreading it, truth be told, but in the end it was really nice and I was extremely proud of my achievement.
The first day Jayden swam in Laura’s pool; he loves it there and Ethan ran around the apartment like the lunatic he is (well, crawled; he’s almost walking – been cruising for months). The next day we went to the Funland Amusement Park, which is really close to her home; she’d been telling me about it for a long time, probably trying to encourage me to come visit. It was not so age-appropriate for Jayden, (and certainly not for Ethan!) but there were some things he could do. He definitely wasn’t interested in the three rollercoasters, but there again, I don’t think he’ll want to do it even when he’s older! He’s just that kind of personality.
We were there the whole day and at one point it start drizzling a bit so we went inside and Jayden loved the Ten Pin Bowling. I actually went on the slot machines for a bit which really took me back – I used to love playing on them years ago. We had a yummy lunch and there were lots of things to do at the restaurant for Jayden and Ethan. In fact, I think that was the best part of the day!
Anyway the most important reason for our trip was to see Laura and she indeed was delighted we’d come. The next couple of days we were there the kids watched movies and played with the few toys she has for her grandchildren and Laura and I really hung out. It was good to see her. I shouldn’t leave it so long; as a kid, growing up, she was always so good to me and I’m glad I (finally) made the effort to see her.
I wanted to do something with the kids that was fun, even before Christmas started. So I was delighted to read about the Tyron Creek Story and Stroll. I signed up and took Jayden and Ethan to the park and we had such a great time. They read one of Jayden’s favorite books so he was happy and, surprisingly, Ethan actually sat through the whole thing quietly. Then we walked around the park (with Ethan in the stroller) and Jayden kept pointing out all these little, unusual bugs he was finding along the path. Then he wanted to stop at the swings and roundabouts so we did that for a while, with Ethan just glazing admiringly at his older brother. So the whole thing was fun and I think the kids really had a good time. It’s definitely a way to get into the Christmas spirit ahead of time.
So it wasn’t so easy for me to get pregnant with my kids – harder for Ethan because of my increasing seniority – but it wasn’t too intense either. We did three IUIs but my FSH numbers were pretty rotten. I really wanted to avoid IVF so when it looked like I was either peri-menopausal or even menopausal at 38-years-old, I decided to give alternative therapies a try. Thankfully, after three months of having needles stuck around different parts of my body on a weekly basis along with ingesting some Chinese herbs, I got pregnant with Ethan. Thankfully after he was born, I knew I was well and truly done having kids.
The stress you go through trying to conceive, getting pregnant, doing all the ultrasounds and amniocentesis and other genetic testing in your 40s is truly just hell. And my good friend Amanda, who only got married at 38, has been trying to conceive now for four years, since the moment she got married. Nothing has happened. Not even a miscarriage.
So last night I was thrilled when she came over with her husband Matt for drinks and she said with a grin, “it’ll just be orange juice for me…for the next 9 months,” and she confirmed her pregnancy (she’s actually 3 months pregnant but said the 9 month thing for affect). Daniel and I were delighted. He and Matt are such good friends and it’s been tough for us all to avoid saying anything about our kids, knowing how much they wanted their own.
Now I just hope the next six months goes smoothly for her. She’s staying with her fertility doctor for the duration of the pregnancy as apparently she herself only had kids in her mid-forties so tries not to be such a panic-button-pusher and just let Amanda get on with it. She wants me to guide her through all the stages, particular to older women which I’ll be glad to do. And I sure as hell won’t be disappointed it’s not me! I’m really glad for her as I know how tough it is to want kids and not have them and feel that tremendous frustration every month as your period descends. This just makes me thank God for Jayden and Ethan that little bit more every day.
I’m looking forward to the weekend. I know it’s only Thursday and I still have another day left of work (I’m a content writer for an Internet company) but still, I like to plan ahead for fun things. So I think on Saturday – weather permitting – I’m going to let Daniel rest (he’s been working so hard on his video projects recently) and take the kids and Galvin to Brush Prairie Dog Park on NE 149th Street. Measuring over 10 acres, I love the space here, and, to me, it is everything awesome about Portland – the greenery, the freshness, the environment preservation factor – it truly is awesome. And Jayden loves hanging out there – especially as I usually bring his favorite snacks. Sometimes some of his buddies from preschool go there too – there are a lot of dogs in the area and we really do love to frequent this park. We also get to choose from two different parks for Galvin – one for bigger, more assertive dogs and the other for somewhat shyer, smaller dogs. Galvin often goes to both!
In the afternoon maybe we’ll just do a movie for the kids and I’ll get to read the weekend papers. That, or Daniel will build something with the boys – or at least with Jayden – while I try to stop Ethan from destroying it all!
Basically I’m planning and hoping for a mellow, getting back to nature weekend. So we’ll see what happens in actuality. As the old adage goes, “man plans and God laughs!”