Monday, May 30, 2005

My silly boy


We went to the zoo again on sunday. Kellan loves the zoo and we go almost every week.

Isn't he gorgeous?


Kellan (15 months)


Who's the monkey?


You have to click for the larger version to get the full effect here. This monkey adores Kellan and every time that we go to the zoo, they play together at the window. I like the way that their faces are superimposed in this photo.

Friday, May 27, 2005

My Poor Little Man


What a difference eh? Kellan was running around like a mad thing yesterday. Then he went to the doctor for his 15 month check-up and injections, which is how we ended up with this photo today. He has been a very sick boy for the past 24 hours. He was burning up with fever all night. I've never felt him so hot. It was almost painful to kiss him. This is apparently normal for some children after these particular vaccinations (MMR and chickenpox). He didn't even venture out of bed until 11am, though he hadn't been sleeping, just laying awake staring off into space. I gave him some hearty peanut butter mixed with whole yogurt, he ate most of that, stumbled over to the couch, climbed up and fell asleep again. He was back in bed by 12pm. Poor little man.

In good news, he was pronounced very big and healthy at his appointment. He's already 32 1/2", about 90% for his age. He hasn't gained much weight recently and is holding steady at 27 lbs 3 oz at the moment, but that's still above 80% for his age and also points to the fact that he'll probably be tall and lean like his dad. I never had him pegged as the American football player build, as it doesn't really fit with my relatively petite figure and Nic's lean frame. He's thinning out into toddlerhood now. My big tall boy.

Look at me Go!


Kellan Walking!


Actually, this is a photo of Kellan running. We were having races. Its hard to capture this guy on film. He's fast!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

We Have a Toddler!

Yes folks, as of today, May 24th 2005, Kellan Robert Evans is officially a toddler. He is a baby no more. He is walking! These were no first steps though. He took off this morning and literally walked around the room. He didn't take a few steps, stumble, and fall. Nic says that he's been walking from one end of the house to the other this afternoon without any help. He's been walking for months now holding one of our hands, so I suppose that he was well prepared for the actual event, but its still surprising to me that he is so steady and so capable. One day he was crawling, the next he's out walking around the countryside as if he'd been doing it for years.

And did I say 15 months or what? He turned 15 months old on Saturday. Today is Tuesday. He's walking. Its definitely a family thing.

I am so happy that he's reached this new milestone in his development. A whole new part of the world opens up to you once you're walking upright. He will be able to do so many new things. And I may not need physical therapy for the rest of my days!

I am not yet sad for the loss of his babyhood, as he remains very much my little boy. He still hasn't got much hair, he can't talk, and of course he nurses with gusto. He is still my baby, even if he will now be a toddler in the eyes of the world. But then, will that ever change?

Friday, May 20, 2005

Store Wars

This is incredibly well done and funny. Enjoy.
Grocery Store Wars | Join the Organic Rebellion

To Buy Organic or Pay the Bills, that is the Question

Motherhood changes your priorities. That's (hopefully) an obvious statement. For me, this is partially manifested in a horrible sense of guilt each and every time that I do the grocery shopping. Why? Organics. Now, I grew up a vegetarian in southern California. My parents were from San Francisco (Britain originally, but they moved to San Francisco in the 60s -- you get the picture). I grew up eating organics. We had our own garden and citrus/avocado orchard at home and didn't have to buy much in the way of fruits and vegetables. When I was older and shopped for myself, I always bought organic fruits, vegetables, milk, and eggs. Sure, it was a little bit more expensive, but not unreasonably so. I understand that the costs of producing organic foods are higher than those of mass-producing against the laws of nature.

However, in the past few years, I have stopped buying organic. Why, you ask? Because, quite frankly, I can no longer afford it. It all started with the opening of Whole Foods Market or Freshfields (same store). In San Diego, these opened in the most exclusive neighbourhoods only. And they had prices to match. They were shops for the wealthy and privileged. We all laughed at them, wearing their Armani suits and Rolex watches, paying a fortune for the fresh food that we grew or bought locally every week. They were buying an image. We were buying healthy whole foods. But then, quite suddenly, these foods started making their way into the local supermarkets. The price was a bit lower than the exclusive stores and allowed the average upper middle class family to feel that they too were buying into the whole foods image. Before long, there were whole aisles of the supermarket dedicated to organic products with mark-ups to validate their trendy status. The local places either increased their prices to match (why not?), or shut down in favour of selling to the larger market.

And that's where we are today. Organics remain trendy, the food of the stars, and incredibly overpriced. Its a business. It is no longer about good farming practises and sustainable agriculture. It is about money, and Gwyneth Paltrow, and $6 smoothies. And darn it, I can't afford it! I am an earth scientist and I don't earn much. My husband is working around stay-at-home fatherhood, so doesn't earn much at the moment either. I want to provide my son with many opportunities to grow and learn, but classes aren't free. I need to put money away for retirement. I need to pay the bills. I will soon need a new car (lets not even get into the "hybrid or dinner this year" discussion now!). I want to provide my son with the best foods, fresh foods, a good good variety, and I want to protect the planet from destructive farming practises. But can I afford to do both?

Not at the moment. And that makes me feel incredibly sad. And guilty. And angry. Food should not be big business. Nor should sustainable agriculture. It should simply be "the way that it is".

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Can it be Genetic?

Kellan will be 15 months old on Saturday. He is still not walking. I believe wholeheartedly that he will walk next month. Why? Well, not only because its about time, but also because there seems to be a family history of children starting to walk at 15 months of age. I wouldn't have believed that something like this could be genetic, but its hard to explain away. 15 months is very late for walking, especially since Kellan has been on his feet for a couple of months already, doing nothing but walking (with parental aid) everywhere that we go. He can stand on his own. There is no logical reason to explain his inability to walk. Yet, he can't (or won't). I walked at 15 months. Many of my cousins and their children walked at 15 months. So, for whatever reason, I believe that Kellan will also walk at 15 months. Fingers crossed and back aching, I hope to report back soon with the happy news that we have a toddler in the house.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Kellan (14 Months Old)


Kellan and Roger

These two have been best friends since Roger was given to Kellan (thanks Julian and Karen!) at 4 months old.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


You may have noticed a slight change in format. I like these colours and the bold look of the page. Seems to fit my growing boy. And he is, after all, why we're here!

The Best Day of My Life

When asked this question -- what was the best day of your life? -- many people respond with, "The birth of my child". I've been thinking this one over and I've got two days. I can't decide between them, as they are both equally important, wonderful, and treasured.

One of these days is, of course, the day that Kellan was born. What an amazing event! And something that we'd almost given up hope would happen. First we had problems getting pregnant and required fertility treatment. Then there were early problems with my blood work and at only 14 weeks they suspected that the fetus had spina bifida which might make termination the best option. A scan (and many happy tears) determined that this was not the case, but then a later scan showed what they believed to be kidney problems with one kidney not properly formed. And then in the last month of my pregnancy I ended up with pre-eclampsia and they had to induce labour. Near the end of my 27 1/2 hours, Kellan was in distress and his heart was stopped, they had to ventouse him out and a whole team of doctors was there ready for emergency measures.

In the end, I had a perfect healthy wonderful baby boy placed at my breast. The doctors were not needed, as he was absolutely fine. I needed major surgery (third degree tear from the ventouse procedure), but my Kellan was, and still is, absolutely perfect. Not a deformed kidney in sight!

The other day, however, is my wedding day. This day seemed equally implausible and was incredibly momentous. Nic and I were friends for quite a long time before we started dating. I was totally head over heels in love with him. He felt the same about me. But there were so many obstacles that neither of us felt able to express these feelings and we simply spent every free moment together as "really good friends". I was in a long term relationship (I'm talking marriage) when we met. Nic is also 20 years my senior. We were both change ringers in Washington DC where my ex is a lawyer. Yes, a Georgetown lawyer. Guess who made out well in that split (and it sure wasn't me!)? When we finally got together it was a huge scandal, both in our families and immediate circles, and also among the change ringing community. Sounds dramatic, but trust me, you had to be there. Our wedding day was a big deal and also a day for us to say, "See, we meant it!".

So, here we are many years later, married, very much in love, and parenting the most wonderful boy imaginable. I have two amazing days. I am an incredibly lucky woman and both of those days have been completing moments in my life. My boys are my heart, my home, my every breath. I can't pick just one day. I have two best days of my life. And I am thankful every day for them both.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

I'm just not crafty

Lately, it seems like everywhere I turn there are magazine articles, books, programmes, and clubs dedicated to scrapbooking. I can't seem to escape it. Yet, no matter how unique and wonderful the finished product, I also can't seem to muster the ambition to try it. I'm not crafty. At all. And anytime that I have a strange crafty creative urge, the results are disastrous. And usually hilarious (after I've overcome the embarrassment). I'm the same way with cooking actually, but that's another topic.

So now I have a baby who is quickly growing into a little boy. What better time to enter this scrapbooking phenomenon? Every day he does something interesting or exciting. I've got hordes of gorgeous photos stored away on the computer. We're always doing "family firsts". My life is like a scrapbook waiting to happen! I actually found myself feeling guilty yesterday because my son wouldn't have wonderful scrapbook page illustrations of his life on which to look back and reminisce one day.

And then it hit me. First, he's a boy. That whole sitting around laughing and reminiscing over the pages of our scrapbook image can go. Second, I do keep a scrapbook of sorts -- you're reading it. I put favourite photos and holiday memories, thoughts about parenting, and other related issues right here. We can look back at these very pages and enjoy the memories one day. And being the son of an IT wizard, its probably more appropriate anyway. Here, I don't need to be crafty, I don't need supplies and patience, I need only my thoughts and memories derived from each day that I parent this gorgeous little boy.

That said, I should probably keep a bit more on top of the blogging, but hey, its a start!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Ian and Ryan last weekend Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

My best friend from childhood, Ryan, and his new son, Ian, born in mid April, due in July. He's doing well. We're all thinking strong thoughts for him. Please spare a kind thought or prayer for our little Ian.  Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Mother's Day

Its hard to believe that this will be my second Mother's Day. I can't even remember the first one, as Mother's Day in Britain occurs on Mothering Sunday, in early March -- in other words, Kellan was a mere few weeks old at the time and life was still utterly chaotic. Nic got me a card. I probably have it stored away somewhere. Its all such a blur.

This year will be different. This year I can truly embrace the spirit of the holiday. This year I am a mother. I feel like a mother. I live the life of a mother. And my son can give me kisses of appreciation. Yes, this week Kellan started giving his first proper (and often wet open mouthed) kisses. He seems more interested in kissing his father at the moment, but then he's always been daddy's boy. Still, this year my son will smile at me, cuddle me, kiss me, and show me all of his new and ever increasing skills. This year we can go out for a meal or a lovely spring walk. This year I can celebrate!

I can also look back on the years that were so difficult for us. The Mothers Days that passed unacknowledged while I longed to know the joy of motherhood. The heartache and wish that next year would be different. That next year we would have something to celebrate. That next year we would bring a child into the world. We struggled with infertility only for a couple of years. My first proper treatment resulted in Kellan! I can't imagine the suffering of people who endure a lifetime of such unrequited longing.

So, this week I wish a very happy Mother's Day to all of the seasoned mothers, new mothers, mothers to be, future mothers, and women who are simply mothers at heart. Happy Mother's Day!