Tuesday, January 29, 2008

How Cute is this

Olivia is growing so much, physically and cognitively. She is really starting to do some cute things.
This morning I wasn't feeling well, DH gave me a quick back rub before he left for work (too much floor scrubbing yesterday). As he was giving me the back rub Olivia came up and rubbed my feet, just like I do when she is feeling icky.
This afternoon DH was doing some grooming on our Persian cat. The cat does not like to be groomed and was whining. The whole time Olivia sat at the gate into the kitchen and stared and whined right along with the cat.
She has also started patting our back when she wants her back patted, and letting us know that she needs a diaper change.
So much fun!


I added some items to my side bar.
The first being a link to my sister-in-law's web page. She does awesome photography. The portiates of Olivia I have posted here were done by her, she also did our family picture.
I also added some of the blogs that I read.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Hat and Scarf

I taught myself to knit several years ago to help get through a winter deployment. That first project was a sweater, it's still sitting in my knitting basket just about done. I lost track of where I was at on the last sleeve, someday I will attempt to figure out where I was at.

I did finish this project though, I made she scarf in a garter stitch, it's OK, it has some holes from dropping stitches and it's wider at one end because of the dropped stitches. The hat was so simple and other than taking time to finding the proper needles it only took me a few hours to make.

House Hunting

One of the perks of being a military family is that we get to move every few years.
One of the down sides of being a military family is that we move every few years.
I guess it depends on how you look at it. Our move is getting closer and as it does I am looking more at the options for houses that await us at the other side of the "Pond".

We have two main options Government housing which can be on or off base (as far away as 45 min) and very small (650 sq ft-1200 sq ft) or living "on the economy" meaning that we live in town in a British house and get a housing allowance. The first option, because of DH's rank and our family size, will put us in a two bedroom house where ever they have room until our family grows then we will be moved up until 4 bedroom housing (because that's as big as they get). The second option we are given a set amount of money to shop for housing and get something that will work for us size, location, amenities. Since we have lived in a 3 bedroom house or the equivalent for the last six years and do not really want to down grade and then move one or more times we are choosing door number two. I had my choice made with some out of pocket expense and a little longer commute than DH would have liked but it looked like it would fit us well and give us room to grow. Then with the new year came a higher housing allowance meaning we can afford to live closer to the bases and possible get most of my wish list for housing which include

  • Recent build or remodel 4-5 bedroom (I have been living in a remodel for the last four years I would like my home to look clean with minimal effort and older homes just don't have that)
  • A study for a sewing room (if it's a five bedroom it does not need this)
  • A master bathroom (this is an upgrade from the one bath we have now and would hopefully allow Olivia to sleep longer in the morning since we would not be making noise right next to her door)
  • Half bath downstairs (because I don't want to be stuck upstairs when I get pregnant again)
  • A dryer inside and/or a utility room (Many of the houses I have looked at online do not look like there is a vent for the dryer in the house, here in the states I cannot line dry clothes because of allergies, I'm not sure about there)
  • A gas cook top (I just prefer this)
  • Fenced Yard so the puppies do not get out.
  • Some storage space
  • I think a conservatory would be cool but it's not a must.

So that's my list for some it may sound like a large house but it doesn't come up to much more than the average American split level, the bedrooms are small, were talking 8X6 or smaller in most cases for the 3rd and 4th rooms and the biggest master I have seen in our price range is about 12x11 slightly larger than the bedroom we have now.

I'm glad for two things in this process. The Internet, which allows me to get a feel for what is available before we even move over there, and the fact that we are moving to an area that we are familiar with. With any luck I'm just a couple of moves away from my dream home.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Helping a grieving Mother

~Courteous people are empathetic-able to relate emotionally to the feelings of others. They listen closely to what people say. They observe what is going on around them and register what they see. A self centered person might say ,"I know exactly how you feel" to someone in a traumatic situation and then immediately start describing his own experiences. An empathetic person is more likely to say something like, "I can't know how you feel right now, but I can understand your grief [or anger or sadness]. And if you want to talk about it I'm here to listen." -Emily Post Etiquette 17th Edition, Peggy Post~

When a pregnancy loss occurs the stories of others losses often come out of the wood work. While there is nothing wrong with sharing your personal story of grief and recovery with a mother whose world has just fallen apart there are some ways to go about it that are better than others.

In my own experience I had many people who approached me and told me how sorry they were to hear of my loss and that they knew how I felt, they had loss a pregnancy also. While I smiled and listened to their condolences I really wanted to tell them they had know way of knowing how I felt. They could understand part of they sadness, the anger, the longing in my heart but their experiences were not the same as mine. Except online I did not encounter a woman who had lost a child due to my condition (a cervix that is too week to hold a baby to term). Most of the women that told me their stories had miscarried very early and after having had one or two children. I do not discount their grief, however, that is a very different experience from your first and second children being carried almost to a point that they could have survived, and holding them in your arms.

The best condolence I received was after my first loss when a neighbor of mine who had experience seven early miscarriages had stopped at my house for something. During the course of our conversation she told me that she didn't know how I did it (dealt with the grief of losing a baby at nearly five months along), all the while I could not imagine being her losing one baby after another and having no idea why my body would not hold a pregnancy for more than a few weeks.

God gives us special graces to deal with our individual circumstances and will never allow us to go through more than we can handle at one time, even if it seems we are 10 inches over our head at the time. That is a grace for our life and our trial though and does not mean we can know what the person next to us is feeling, experiences such as these even effect spouses in profoundly different ways. If you find yourself giving condolences to someone who has just lost a pregnancy a shoulder to cry on is the best first offer, let them talk about their grief, and if they are open to it you can use your experience to help them to work through their grief.

My own response to pregnancy loss veries at this time. I will often gauge it on how well I know the person. Most people who know me know my story so I do not even have to tell them my experience. I do offer condolences, a shoulder to cry on (or a in-box to vent to). I also offer ideas to memorialize the pregnancy and/or books to read that can be helpful. From there I allow the other person to take the lead.