Thursday, December 27, 2007

2/3 of a Christmas Miracle!

I think I was far too busy before Christmas to post the song I had been singing for a week or so about The Bug:

All I want for Christmas is her three eye teeth,
her three eye teeth,
her three eye teeth.
Gee, if she could only cut her three eye teeth,
then maybe we could get some sleepies!

Well it was a spectacularly badly timed wish because the actual cutting of the teeth makes her wake up very frequently all night long for a few miserable nights. And those were the nights when I most needed to be downstairs, wrapping presents, working on the cards (which I still haven't mailed... argh!) and cooking.

HOWEVER - we got 2/3 of my wish. The Bug cut her second lower eye tooth (my mom says the lower ones aren't called eye teeth, just the upper ones - but you know what I mean, right?) and one of the upper ones by/on Christmas. YAY! The cold she's got right now combined with the imminent (I hope) cutting of the last eye tooth are causing her sleep to continue to be utter crap, but man, I am so excited that we're this close. I am fully banking on getting more sleep between the cutting of that tooth and the 2-year molars starting to cause problems.

Oh crap, I hear noise from upstairs. May have to go quiet her again. Poor thing. I really think there's a good reason (or maybe more than one) that we don't remember being as little as The Bug is!

Short Christmas Summary

I think this pretty much sums it up.

Sweet Pea was an absolute angel on Christmas morning. She woke up before anyone else - well, except that if anyone else is awake, I'm awake, but she didn't know that I was awake while she sat up in bed being quietly excited. She tried to entertain herself quietly because the rest of us, as far as she could tell, were sleeping, but after a while and not being able to find a drink (we usually have drinks and snacks waiting for the girls in the bedroom in the morning so I can get my shower as soon as I wake up), she came back up on the bed and demanded to know where her drink was. The Bug had been partially awake and Sweet Pea talking sealed the deal. She sat up too, asking for apple juice. I poked Slipshod and said, "we have to get up now." He went downstairs and stationed himself with the video camera so he could tape Sweet Pea coming down the stairs and seeing the presents under the tree. She was SO excited! We had a fun time going through our stockings and opening presents, but unfortunately Santa didn't get Sweet Pea one thing that she just KNEW was going to be there. Santa had decided not to get it (it was a circular puzzle and all the pieces were different colors) for her because the company who made it classified it as a toy for the 2-3 age range. However, she didn't let the disappointment get the best of her, and played with the new toys and books that she did get.

The Bug just does not care about the act of opening presents but she does want to see what's inside, so I opened her presents for her, while she sat on my lap. She was very excited about the wooden choo choo and they both liked the race cars in their stockings... ha ha!

We didn't rush ourselves to get out of the house; we just had a nice relaxed day and Slipshod made breakfast and we played with toys and ate again later and watched (well, more like listened to) Mary Poppins and eventually took our showers... we didn't get to my sister's until dinnertime! I had figured we'd get there earlier but we didn't... but it worked out okay.

Unfortunately The Bug caught Sweet Pea's cold and Christmas Day was her very worst day of it. She had a fever that kept rising, and her breathing sounded pretty difficult. She kept a smile on her face throughout the day and evening, but could not wait to come home and get into bed after dinner and opening presents at her auntie's house.

After dropping me and the girls at home on Christmas night, Slipshod continued on to the airport, where he picked up one of my teenage nieces, who has been staying with us (until tonight). Yesterday my CA family came over to see my niece. Today the rest of the family is gone and we and my niece are just hanging out, doing laundry (yippee!), playing games on the XBox and the Wii, and essentially relaxing. Yay!

The girls are loving having their cousin here. Sweet Pea wants a big sister so she tends to call her teenage cousins her big sisters. ha ha!

Anyway, that's about it. There has, of course, been some family politics involved in all of this, but that's par for the course with any family, right? And we all did manage to have a good time, even if not everyone did what other people wanted or expected.

I'd write more but I feel like this is boring already and it's because I'm keeping an ear open for the girls, etc. So I'll write again and hopefully post more pictures when I have more time.

I hope you all had a great holiday! What have you got going on for New Year's? We've been invited to at least three parties. If we're going to one, it'll be the one in town.
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Monday, December 24, 2007

Still Swimming!

I was telling Slipshod that it seems like no matter how hard I'm working my bootie off, it's never quite enough and I never feel like I'm going to get it all done. I really wanted to just make cookies today, and otherwise sit around and play. However... I've done some carpet cleaning (more, actually - I started last night before bed), Slipshod has been washing dishes, and Slipshod is still going to make one more grocery run... but Sweet Pea has been able to just play all day, and The Bug got a good nap in her own crib for once (it's been so hectic lately she's missed naps a few days and other days had to take them in weird places and they haven't lasted for as long as they ideally should).

We did make it to our family Christmas party yesterday, and we all had a really good time. Sweet Pea woke up feeling SO much better yesterday, thank goodness! She still has a really yucky-sounding cough but otherwise has returned to her normal energy level, appetite, etc. The Bug's cold is getting worse but she is trying to be cheerful through it. What really pisses her off is when she can't breathe through her nose at night. Which means that both the eye-tooth-cutting and the not-being-able-to-breathe problems are keeping her awake most of the night. Sigh.

Still, we are having a good holiday and I'm SO glad we have today off between family gatherings. We still need to make cookies and reindeer food to put out tonight. And I'll be up wrapping presents. I of course wanted to have them all wrapped long before tonight, but you do what you can when you can... it has been a huge struggle to get things done each step (party) of the way around all The Bug's night wakings - and Sweet Pea was having those when she was in the throes of the worst of the cold, too. Kids waking up crying and/or coming down the stairs sort of put a cramp in the wrapping of the presents, y'know? And them needing me more in the middle of the night slows EVERYTHING else down, too.

But, Slipshod and I have finally made a meal plan for the next couple days and he's out, bless him, getting the groceries we'll need. While The Bug plays in the living room saying, "Hi Daddy!" over and over again. I'm not sure what she's doing... talking on her baby cell phone? Maybe. ha ha!

Okay, I really need to go wash the clothes we wore for yesterday's Christmas party (you know there's food all over them - both the girls' and mine) so we can wear them for tomorrow's too.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Fun Continues

Sweet Pea's temp today reached 101.3 and she was feelin' pretty crappy. Still lots of ribcage-rattling coughing going on. We're still hoping we're all going to be able to go to the Christmas shindig with Slipshod's family tomorrow (Sunday)...

The Bug's nose is running, and one of her eyes, but otherwise she's as chipper and silly as usual.

This is what our kids' bodies do when they get colds: Sweet Pea gets fevers that must be controlled with a somewhat regular regimen of Motrin and Tylenol to keep them from getting out of hand, and The Bug gets a supremely leaky face. I really hope that Sweet Pea is feeling tons better tomorrow and The Bug's cold doesn't get worse.

But guess what - a ray of light in all this downpour of illness: THE BUG HAS *FINALLY* CUT ANOTHER EYE TOOTH! I am ready to throw a freakin' party, people. She's still got her whole fist in her mouth most of the time so she can chomp on it, and both of the upper eye teeth still need to cut, but oh my gosh these teeth have been causing her so much pain and taking so much time to come out, I'm ready to throw a party for just one of the remaining three popping through the gums. I really think that one of the uppers might be through tomorrow, because it already REALLY looks like it's out of the gums. But whenever I feel that part of her gum with my finger, I do not feel a tooth. I guess the tooth is pushing so hard on the gums, the gums themselves are white. Poor kid! Yeesh!

Okay, must go finish wrapping that last present, pack the diaper bag, and put it all in the car. And then back to the usual grind of dishes and that laundry that I just cannot seem to get around to folding. I sure hope we can make the house look nice for our company (family) Christmas night.

The Latest

As far as I can tell, Slipshod alone of all of us is feeling fine.

The Bug's doctor appointment this week showed that her ears and throat are fine - she is (I should say *was*) not sick. That is wonderful news, but the sleep is still poor and she is still extra clingy. The doctor asked about her teething and blamed it on that, which I realized I would have thought of first any other time of the year. I wanted to get her ears checked because of the two recent colds and the really bad ear infection the last one caused.

Sweet Pea started coughing a few days ago. She started sounding worse and worse and yesterday reached an all-time horrible crecendo. She coughed so hard all day long that her chest hurts, and it looks like today will be more of the same. Yesterday she had a fever by breakfast time and didn't want to eat all day until dinnertime. She even took a 45-minute nap which she *asked for,* which is very unusual for her. She still has a low grade fever but is feeling better in terms of that - no more listlessness today, though she is definitely suffering some energy loss from all the coughing. But she slept well last night after we gave her a nasal decongestant and some 12-hour cough medicine.

I finally went to the doctor yesterday for my sore ear and throat. Horrible experience at the new doctor's office - had to wait over an hour to see the doctor for three minutes. Everyone there called me by the wrong name (left off the last 3 letters of my first name) despite the fact that I filled out the paperwork with my full name. Then the doctor all but patted me on the head for having actual thoughts. He also seemed to think it was really weird that I'm still breastfeeding The Bug at 18 months. The strep test came out negative but there is something white on the back of my throat on the side where it hurts, so he prescribed an antibiotic.

Last night at bedtime The Bug's nose started sounding stuffy. She's sneezing a lot and her nose is running a lot today, so she's obviously got Sweet Pea's cold. I hope we're all a lot better by Christmas...

And I hope that you are all faring better than we are!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hells Bells

Alright, what's the big idea?

You remember the two colds and stomach bug during the past two months, right? Well, last Friday I had a sore ear in the morning. In the afternoon it turned into a lump in my throat that made it painful to yawn or swallow, and at one point seemed to suddenly grow very large or turn or something, and part of the right side of my lips/cheek/jaw actually became numb! It went away quickly but I have still had a painful something down in my throat since then. Yes, I did finally call a doctor today and I have an appointment on Friday of this week.

But that wasn't enough. The Bug has started acting like her right ear is hurting again. We haven't had another cold, and she got the all-clear two weeks ago! But her sleep is suffering worse again and she seems to be protecting the right side of her head if anyone gets near it. AUGH! I'm taking her to the pediatrician this afternoon at 4. After the Holiday Potluck Party at Sweet Pea's school.

That's not enough either. Sweet Pea and Slipshod both woke up with sore throats this morning. Sweet Pea says hers only hurts when she coughs, but she didn't cough before the first time she told me it hurt. AND, she wouldn't eat breakfast this morning, even though I made her favorite (Malt-o-Meal). She seems fine otherwise, but I've got my eye on her.

Oh - and of course, The Bug, who is very tired, won't nap. She just blew her only chance today. We'll be staying at school with Sweet Pea and then I have to take The Bug to the pediatrician. Some days it just doesn't pay to get up. I'm so stressed. AND I need to go now and make the deviled eggs we're taking for the pot luck. They're boiled and cooled, I just have to do the fun part. Maybe smashing the yolks will make me feel better.

Sigh.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hiyee

No time to write, just wanted to mention that The Bug went pee pee in the baby potty today! I think it was an accident, and she didn't let it all out, but it was a first!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Haiku Friday AND Yet Another Rushed Update

Haiku Friday

Christmas is coming
Cookie icing on my shoe
Sprinkles ev'rywhere

Up 'til 2 am
Shopping on the Internet
Express shipping, please!

Our Christmas tree fell
Lots of broken glass on floor
Now it's tilted back

Cookies for breakfast
School holidays coming up
Dad home for a week!

Between the two big
Holidays, I mean, of course
Cozy fam'ly time

Except for the teeth
Which need to have three fillings
Be brave, our Sweet Pea!

The cats keep trying
To get in my closet now
They can smell their gifts

Catnip mats for them
to play on, maybe keep them
entertained a bit

Shopping still to do
No rest for the weary, right?
Must wash dishes now

You know, every year I want to either be more organized for Christmas and have all our gifts for other people ready by the first of November, or - and this is what I REALLY want - to MAKE something that people can use rather than giving them more stuff. I had planned last year that I was going to make soap this year and that's what we would give family for Christmas (though we probably still would have bought for the kids in the family). Well, I never prepared even though I kept talking about it and when it came time to really get down to business, I couldn't find all my ingredients. I wasn't about to buy more because what I was really missing was the essential oils, which I buy in bulk. I am not about to buy more of those until I run out. SO, that means that in 2008 I really must find everything (I think I'll set myself a deadline, like March 1st or something) and if I start early enough, I can make this a leisurely thing throughout the year and be ready so far in advance for Christmas! That's what I thought last year too, of course. I'm hoping that since I didn't pull it off this year, I will have that much more inclination to follow through in 2008 - especially since so many people in our families are burned out with the gift giving. Nobody needs anything and most people don't want anything either, except for the kids. That's why I want to do a gift they can use up. Because most, of not all of them, really liked my soap when I was making it regularly.

ANYWAY - that is neither here nor there. Here's what *has* been going on. Last Saturday I took Sweet Pea to a birthday party - her first for a school friend - at a gymnastics school. It was a great idea - the kids want to run around like loonies anyway, right? So why not have them do that in a guided and super-fun way? They all had a great time. The next day Grandma S. and Boopa came to our house early in the morning and we all got ready to go for a drive. Then our neighbors followed us (we had Gma & Bpa in our van with us) to the Santa Cruz Mountains. We went to a Christmas tree farm that was pretty far away and had to drive on lots of twisty roads, but it was fun. Sweet Pea had begun acting strange first thing in the morning - whiny and didn't want breakfast (she had had a little something to eat upon waking, but it was still weird for her to be acting that way). When we got to the Christmas tree farm she got two rows into a very large field of trees and stopped, announcing that she wanted the little 2.5-foot tree in front of her. She wouldn't hear that it wouldn't look right in the living room because it's so small, or that we wouldn't buy her her own tree just for her room (which she doesn't spend that much time in). Boopa stayed with her while we walked around the farm looking for that perfect tree. The one we got must be 8 or 9 feet tall. We've never had a tree that tall before, but the ceiling in the house above where we were going to have the tree is two stories tall, so it didn't matter how tall it was - yay! However, I believe that the tree holder we have is not big or heavy enough to hold such a tall tree, and that is why the tree fell over a few nights ago. Oh well... live and learn...

After we and the neighbors chose and cut our trees and trussed them to the tops of our vehicles for the long drive home, most of us were quite hungry and decided to go to a restaurant for lupper (it was 3 or 4pm - too late for lunch but too early for dinner/supper). Sweet Pea whined and said she wanted to go home. She didn't eat at the restaurant but had fun running around, dancing, and hamming it up on the restaurant's stage with Speed Racer.

On the way home, however... Not long into the drive Sweet Pea acted a little weird and wouldn't answer me when I asked if something was wrong. I was in the back with The Bug, directly behind Sweet Pea, so I couldn't see her face. It was dark out but her light was on next to her seat and Boopa was watching her too. Presently he said, "OH, she threw up." Lemme tell ya, it smelled great. Blech. We were still in the mountains but Slipshod found a turnout pretty quickly and we wiped Sweet Pea up (she hadn't yakked too much, but it got all down the front of her shirt) and helped her rinse out her mouth and take a drink of water. She slept the rest of the way home. We formed a tentative concensus that Sweet Pea had probably just had a bit of car sickness because she had been looking down drawing before she got sick.

At bedtime The Bug, who had only napped for about half an hour all day, fell asleep hard and fast. Sweet Pea, however, was very awake and I decided I would rather just have her be awake downstairs with us than me stay up in the dark with her trying to get her to sleep when she didn't seem tired (which was not surprising, since she stopped napping nearly a year ago so now if she naps bedtime takes forever). I went to work taking the extra seats out of my van, moving the back seat up, and redoing the annoying seatbelt-through-the-carseat (our car was made one measly year before the LATCH system became standard in all vehicles) thing. While I was fighting with the seat belt and The Bug's car seat, Slipshod stuck his head out the door and said, "she's really sick - she just puked all over the couch and the carpet." So that was lovely too. From then on, for the whole next day, we made her carry a big bowl around everywhere with her so that if she couldn't make it to the toilet to throw up, she could yak in the bowl. If only we had done that earlier. Yeesh. But, hey, we can remove the couch cushion covers to wash them, and we have a carpet shampooer (although it's really making the rounds right now - was across the street last night for a coffee stain emergency, and now it's been picked up and taken to Slipshod's sister's apartment, which she is trying to get nice and clean before her parents-in-law spend Christmas with them). Whee.

So if you're counting, that's three illnesses we've had in our house in the past, what, 6 weeks? Two colds and then the stomach bug. Luckily, Sweet Pea was the only one who had the bug. WHEW!

We've got another birthday party (Speed Racer's) to attend tomorrow and part of me is wary of being around a bunch of kids again - who knows what Sweet Pea or The Bug might catch this time... I'm just hoping that everyone will be healthy and we don't end up with any new illnesses before Christmas.

Other than that - just lots and lots of chasing the kids around going on, lots of cookie making and decorating, Christmas shopping, oh, and of course we decorated our tree (before it fell down - now it needs to be redecorated), strung popcorn and cranberries, all that good stuff. Sweet Pea and I still want to make some paper chains. I think we'll make some just for fun, to hang around the house, and another that has enough rings to count down the days 'til Christmas.

I think that's about it. What's new with you?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Update on the Sitch(es)

Here's the scoop:

I'm pretty sure my herbalist is magic. Even though this is not physically possible, I actually felt better with each sip of her Uva Ursi tea the first couple times I took it. I've also been avoiding sugar (SO hard for me now that I'm addicted again) and drinking lots of horribly bitter 100% cranberry juice - diluted half & half with water so I can actually (just barely) stand to drink it. The upshot is that my bladder infection took off when it met up with the herbs and cranberry juice! I felt a lot better the morning after I started taking the tea and drinking the juice, and even better today. WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Happy happy happy!

Sweet Pea is back to her normal self again and had a good, snot-and-cough-free week at school. They've apparently been learning about Hanukkah all week, lighting a menorah in the classroom and everything, and tonight she sang Hanukkah songs for hours between school and bedtime. No, not the Adam Sandler song - ha ha! She was singing, "Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah," and the draedel song.

Yesterday The Bug had an ear re-check and her 18-month checkup with the pediatrician. I am very happy to report that her ears are clear! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!! As for her checkup, she's on track with all her developmental stuff and way ahead on the language (her newest favorite animal to talk about: "Opopus.". Growth-wise, she made an amazingly big jump! She has gained 5 pounds and grown 3 inches in the past 5 months. She went from 15th percentile in weight to 45th, and 30th percentile in height to 75th! !!!!! I am shocked and amazed because this is all new to me. Sweet Pea has always been very consistent in her growth so I've never seen a leap like that before. Zowie! In case you want the actual numbers - she weighs 23lbs. 2oz. and is 32inches tall. Oh - and of course her head is still in the 90th percentile. But you know all about the watermelon heads around here.

Happily we got our Slipshod back the night before last, tired but no worse for the wear or the airline delays.

Saturday's plans: Sweet Pea was invited to two birthday parties (of classmates) *on the same day.* I did not tell her that it was possible to attend both because I didn't want to spend the entire Saturday taking her to both. She easily and matter-of-factly chose the party I thought she would: The one for the girl she plays with regularly rather than the one for the boy who gives her a hard time on the playground. Yay! The party is at a strangely late time (4-5:30pm) to give other classmates the option of attending both parties - and it's at a gymnastics school, which should be fun. I'm going to leave The Bug home with Slipshod and take Sweet Pea to the party.

We didn't end up getting a Christmas tree last weekend because we discovered belatedly that the cut-your-own farm we had planned to go to here in town is closed this year. Der! So we decided to get crazy and plan a trip this Sunday instead, to a Christmas tree farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It will be fun - we're taking a set of grandparents and possibly caravanning (I'm sure that's not how you spell that, even if it is a word, which it's probably not, but I'm willing to bet you know what I mean) with the neighbors (not totally sure yet whether or not they're going). Yay! To be honest car trips longer than half an hour tend to stress me out - I hate to be far away from home when the baby is crying in the car - but things will probably be just fine and The Bug should sleep in one direction, if not both, on the drive. She's much more chill in the car than Sweet Pea was at her age anyway. There's a good chance that Sweet Pea will fall asleep in the car too. If we drive for long enough, she can't resist the lull of the white noise and the vibration of the tires on the road, etc.

I'm excited that we'll have a tree. I know that Sweet Pea is super excited about it, and I imagine that The Bug will be very interested in the idea of a tree inside the house, too. We'll put the soft ornaments at the bottom and I'm sure it'll get undecorated every day. ha ha! As long as she doesn't try to pull it over, everything will be fine.

We really must get our Christmas shopping going, though. I know I said in the title of the last post that I was doing that, but I got a certain amount done and then due to sickness in the house, poor sleepage of a severely teething child, etc., I stalled out. We really really need to catch up. The good news is that several people have actually told us what they want this year, and pointed us toward wish lists and stuff! That is SO helpful. Whew!

I had intended to make soap this year so that we could give our families something they liked but which they could use up, and it was going to be so stress-free because I was going to make it well before Thanksgiving, etc. Well, I still don't know where my essential oils are and I am not going to buy more of those until I use up what I have - somewhere. I have a lot; I used to buy in bulk when I was selling the soap.

Anyway, since I never got my butt in gear with soap production we have to go the old route of buying presents again this year, but somehow I am not letting it get to me that we're not done shopping yet, etc. Maybe I'm just so calm because I still haven't sat down to write out the list and really start shopping. I bet I'll get a little more stressed when I see "order by x day for Christmas delivery" notices on the websites. Heh... I hope you're all doing better than I am with this, especially those of you celebrating Hanukkah! Is Hanukkah early this year? It seems like it.

That is all for now.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Can't Talk - Christmas Shopping

How does this happen every year? All of a sudden it's December and I only have about three presents in the house. That's not going to cut it for the umpteen family members we'll be exchanging gifts with in a few weeks. I thought I was off to a good start with the shopping but then suddenly - December arrived.

Well, part of the problem, of course, is that I am not an organized person and I don't lead a well planned life. But there's more to it than that. It's the weather. Yep. The weather.

See, I don't remember being born here in the Golden State, or living here until I was 2. I remember 12 years in West Virginia, where although there was by no means snow every year on Christmas (only sometimes), the weather at least had the decency to be cold, consistently, at least by November - and stay that way until April or May. We had four seasons there. So ever since we moved back to the land of the fruits, nuts and flakes, as they say, it has never felt like Christmas. At this point I have even lived back in CA longer than I lived in WV, but since my childhood Christmases were spent in a place with real weather (I guess that's the reason), I cannot make myself believe it's Christmas each year. Not even on Christmas Day.

Of course, now I'm having to "make" Christmas for the kids - you know, do fun holiday things with them, sing songs, start our own family traditions. I really believed that doing that with my own children would recreate the holiday for me somehow, and help me to believe that it could possibly be Christmas here where it was raining and in the low 50s two days ago, but sunny as all get out and in the mid-60s today.

It's just not happening. I feel like I just have to fake it every year. Does anyone know how I can get over this? It's kind of annoying!

In the mean time I'm trying to figure out what people want and what we're getting for whom, while the girls continue on their antibiotics (I think we've finally turned a corner; they're both acting more like themselves finally), Slipshod gets stuck in bad weather on a business trip (no worries, really, it was a short trip and he'll be home tonight - but it's still disruptive to have him away), and I'm starting to have a bladder infection. I know you really wanted to know that last bit - but it sort of puts the icing on the cake, y'know?

And tomorrow before school we're making The Bug miss her morning naptime (she'll nap in the afternoon instead) to get her ears re-checked and to have her 18-month checkup, Saturday Sweet Pea has a birthday party to attend at the local gymnastics school, and Sunday we'll be driving a long ways to cut down our own Christmas tree in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I'm not complaining about any of that except for The Bug's appointment - she literally shakes with fear when she's being examined by doctors, and she'll be getting shots, so SUCK all around.

I just hope the bladder infection goes away quickly. Since I STILL don't have a doctor locally, I'm fighting the infection with herbs and cranberry juice. I hope they work while I'm sleeping and I feel better in the morning. I'd rather do that anyway - I hate taking antibiotics - but I'm not naive enough to think that I will definitely get through this on herbs and cranberry alone, because I think it may have taken me too long to figure out what it was and the infection may have gone too far to be treatable with the more natural and gentle options.

Send happy thoughts...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

It's Tough Growing Up

The kids are still feeling yucky. While Sweet Pea has had a really bad time with excessive snot for the past week+, I think The Bug has had the worst of it. She never got nearly as snotty as her sister and she never got the rattle-cough either, BUT - first she had the cold, and while that was going on she had really bad constipation for a few days. I have no idea why and was starting to get worried but reminded myself that even though she was experiencing a lot of pain with pooping, she was still pooping. Sometimes 4 or 5 times per day. So it wasn't like she had a blocked system or anything. But the pain of it was horrible for her, and I felt so bad. I couldn't get her to drink any prune juice, but I did feed her plenty of fruit and some dried apricots. I think the biggest problem was that she wasn't drinking enough from a cup. She nursed all night long some nights, but apparently that's not enough.

But I digress. So The Bug had the cold. And constipation. Then she got the horrible ear infection, for which we had to start giving her antibiotics. So now as you would probably expect, the constipation turned VERY quickly to diarrhea because of the medication. So her bum is in a ton of pain STILL, only this time the pain is spread over a much broader area and lasts longer. And she's still got 7 more days (that's 14 doses) before she's finished with the antibiotics.

As if that weren't enough, she's never stopped cutting teeth since she started, and right now she's working on at least one of the three eye teeth that still remain inside the gums. Yesterday she was still poking at her ear and acting miserable about that. Today I didn't see her poking her ear, but she had her hands, and the remote control, and whatever else she could find, in her mouth, and she was chomping like there was no tomorrow.

Poor kid.

I've been giving the girls yogurt at every meal but obviously that's not keeping things in check in The Bug's digestive system. I wish she was old enough to take acidophilus pills. Tomorrow I think we'll start off our day with Cream of Rice cereal and have some mashed potatoes with our lunch (though I don't think The Bug will eat them). Sweet Pea ate a bunch of banana chips with dinner tonight, which could also help, and I'm hoping that she just won't have as much of a problem with the antibiotics as The Bug is. Thankfully she only has to take a 7-day dose total, but she has to take so much that we could have the same problem as The Bug. WHEW that Sweet Pea knows how to use the potty! But I'm still concerned about her having an accident at school. She can probably handle it, though.

Stay tuned...

Friday, November 30, 2007

Haiku Friday


Look at that girl's nose
Snot for a week makes it bleed
Staying home today

This one is clingy
Like a barnacle, I mean
No bath for you, Mom!

This day was so cute
Bug liked the attention lots
She loves her big sis
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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Today's Status

Me: Tired, as usual, getting less sleep lately because the girls are still sick, but functioning and feeling pretty much over the bit of cold that I did get

Slipshod: Feeling mostly better as well, didn't miss any work due to the cold (now jury duty, that's a different story)

Sweet Pea: Still running rivers of snot out her nose, mixed with blood the past few days. Been running the humidifier in the bedroom at night and that seems to help until she's out of the house each day. Still has a somewhat productive cough. Last night she told us that one of her ears hurt, and she willingly took Motrin before bed and even said that it tasted good! Whose child is this - or just how sick is she? Taking her to the doctor today after school to get her ears checked, even though the one that hurt last night doesn't hurt today. Same situation occurred last February and the doctor said she had had a blood blister on her eardrum that had burst, which was why her ear didn't hurt in the morning - but she did have an ear infection. So definitely want to get her ears checked today to be sure of what's going on in there

The Bug: Has not been acting like herself for days. She's been whiny, clingy, having trouble getting to sleep, etc. Her nose is still snotty but she has not had a cough. She slept miserably last night, waking every 2 hours and nursing like it was going out of style. I had been wondering about the possibility of ear infection but she had not been touching her ears at all until this morning. After waking today she poked both of her ears with her fingers and said, "Ow! Ow ow ow!" I figured that was a pretty clear sign. I called to make appointments with the pediatrician's office for today and we took The Bug before taking Sweet Pea to school. Her left ear is slightly pink inside but the right is raging red and the doctor, when telling me that her antibiotic would not affect her pain for a couple days, said, "PLEASE give her some pain killer until then; she is in a lot of pain."

So - the girls and I went directly from the doctor's office to the pharmacy and handed in the prescription. Then we walked across the shopping area and had smoothies and bready treats, then went back to the pharmacy to pick up the medicine, then took Sweet Pea to school. When The Bug and I got home I of course had to force her medicine into her, which is never fun. However, she did take it all without spitting any out. I let her have some juice and grapes and then took her upstairs for her nap. I wanted to give her some Motrin or Tylenol before getting her to sleep but she was like, "HELL NO LADY, ARE YOU INSANE?!" so I just nursed her a bit - well, I tried - she fell asleep almost as soon as I laid her on her side on the Boppy pillow. So now she's snoozing. Whew. What a morning! I really hope that she feels better soon, poor thing. Now we just need to get Sweet Pea's ears checked after school and things will be more under control around here, I think. Whee...

** Updated to add: Sweet Pea's ears are slightly infected but not really in bad shape. They are still not hurting her but since it's right before the weekend the doctor gave us a prescription in case things change and she needs the medicine. The Bug is a mess, but hopefully she'll start feeling better on Saturday because we're planning to go downtown for the "Home For The Holidays" festivities - they're even going to have SNOW! Then on Sunday it's out to a tree farm to get a Christmas tree. Yippee! :o) **

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hi

It seems as if all I have time for these days is a quick update every two weeks or so! Oh well, here goes another one:

Here are Sweet Pea and The Bug during one of their good playing-together moments. Sweet Pea is teaching The Bug about kitties (what else?)

Grandma S. and Boopa brought Sweet Pea one of those funny little Klutz books and this one had a plastic envelope attached containing googly eyes. The pictures in the book show how you can make anything look alive and silly with googly eyes. We now have googly eyes on our back fence to complete a Scooby Doo face that Grandma S. has been seeing in the wood grain. Sweet Pea also decided that the dining room table and two of the chairs needed to have eyes, and for four days or so she asked me to be the voice of the dining room table at meal time... hee hee! The pink baby hat on one of the chairs was my idea. One morning Sweet Pea put two googly eyes on the dishwasher and had me making that talk, but when The Bug saw the eyes on the dishwasher she backed away and started crying! The table and chairs didn't bother her, though... hmm.



The Bug thinks that her big sis is the greatest thing in the whole wide world and is always trying to emulate her. This is why we have a 17-month-old who draws on paper with pens, sticks tiny suction cups (which are from another Klutz book - thanks, grandparents, for all the many, many choking hazards that are impossible to keep away from the baby) to the bathroom sink and door handle, and is getting to be a real whiz on the stairs!


The other night our whole family made dinner together. Slipshod was behind the camera when the shot above was taken, but another reason he wasn't in the picture was that, regrettably, he doesn't have a kitchen apron. He has been having a really fun time trying out cooking this year, though (I love you, Alton Brown!) so maybe Santa Clause needs to be alerted to Slipshod's need for an apron of his own!

As for Thanksgiving - well, we had a nice one. Two, actually. The weekend before we went to my parents' house and celebrated the holiday with my parents, sister and brother-in-law. On Thanksgiving itself we had intended to have one family over who has a little boy some months older than The Bug. We were going to have our first ever small, quiet holiday with friends (not family).

Well, Slipshod's mom's & her hubby's plans with hubby's family got canceled so they pretty much told us, "you're having 18 people at your house for Thanksgiving!" We did more cleaning than we might have otherwise but of course that is paying off now - we're able to enjoy a much cleaner house than we had before the holiday. And did I mention, Slipshod's mom and sister did nearly all the cooking? Yeah, that pretty much rocked. Hey, if you're going to crash my party, offer to do the cooking and I'll happily change my plans. ha ha! The day with family and friends was lots of fun, but unfortunately both our girls had fevers that day, and ever since then they've had big ropes of snot coming out of their noses all day long. I think that they must be mostly recovered by now, but Sweet Pea is still coughy and snotty enough that I am not taking her to school today.

And speaking of school, when Slipshod, The Bug and I went to pick up Sweet Pea after class last Tuesday one of her teachers came out to us to say, "I know you have cats, but would you be willing and able to take the classroom parakeets for the holiday?" I guess the teachers had forgotten to set up holiday homes for all the pets and they were pretty actively trying to get most families to take pets home, because that classroom is FULL of pets. We agreed, since we figured we could lock the birds, in their cage, away from our cats pretty easily. The birds have been doing just fine and the girls are enjoying visiting them a few times per day. Last night we kicked the cats outside, brought the bird cage downstairs, and gave it a good cleaning job. We scrubbed their food and water cups and vacuumed and wiped out under the tray at the bottom, and replaced the paper towels in the tray (the birds' "potty"). Sweet Pea was having so much fun that she wet a wash rag and wiped down the bars of the cage, which benefitted from her attention since there were little parakeet down feathers stuck to them in places. We also took all the little mirror toys out of the cage and washed those to get the birdy nose schmutz off so they could see their little faces in the mirrors again. The birds themselves are pretty chill. You'd have to imagine that in a preschool classroom they have gotten quite used to sudden and loud attention. They're pretty unflappable. ha ha!

That is all for now. I am trying to decide whether or not to take Sweet Pea to see the doctor. I think that she is just at the end of her cold where you have to wait for the cough and snot to go away, but her left nostril has been bleeding today, and last night she WILLINGLY took Motrin before bed because she felt generally yucky and achy. Her fever has been gone for days, though. I guess I will just call the pediatrician's office and ask for advice. I don't want to schlep the girls over there and pay co-pays for nothing, y'know?
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Quickie Update

There are so many other things I should be doing right now, like chopping vegetables for dinner just to name one, but I wanted to write a little update first:

This morning I took the girls BY MYSELF to the dentist. Insane? Why, yes I am. However, it went even better than I had hoped, and I had high hopes to begin with, so it was good all over.

I had tried to take Sweet Pea to see the dentist before The Bug was born, but she was having none of that. The dentist was only trying to get her into the chair to count her teeth, but she FREAKED and we went home. I had a good feeling going into today's visit, though.

First, we were going to a family-oriented dentist's office this time, full of friendly, young, predominantly female staff, and toys and crayons and even a fish tank in the waiting room, cruelly imprisoning not only Nemo, but Marlin and Dory as well. But that was the kicker for Sweet Pea - she wanted to go there because they had those fish.

Second, not only is Sweet Pea older and more able to deal with things now, she has also been in school since August and has had plenty of time to realize that there are lots of cool people in the world who are not me. Thus, she now goes into unfamiliar situations involving people she's never met with a bit more of an open mind and more independent inquisitiveness than she ever had before.

When we go to the office today she was still skeptical and a bit afraid. She had wanted me to go first so she could watch me get my cleaning and x-rays, but that's not what the office had planned, so she was thrown into the deep end, as it were. The first thing they wanted to do was take two x-rays of her mouth but she was not up for that at all, so the hygienist took her to the chair where she would be getting her cleaning and let her pick out a new toothbrush. The Bug insisted that she needed one too, and I was telling her "no," but the hygienist was happy to let her pick out one as well. SO - with that out of the way we got Sweet Pea into the chair and she got to see and hear and touch the instruments that would be used on her and pick out what flavor of toothpaste she wanted for her polishing, etc.

At this point, when she was starting to relax and I realized that she was going to go through with the appointment, another hygienist came in and asked me to come with her.

I said, "uh, I can't really leave right now."

She looked a little annoyed and said, "I don't know if this is going to work."

I explained to her that this was Sweet Pea's first appointment EVER and I didn't really feel as if I could just leave when she was still getting used to the idea. The receptionist who made our appointments yesterday had known that this would be Sweet Pea's first ever dental exam so I figured our appointments would have been made so that I could be with Sweet Pea while she was having her cleaning. The hygienist who had come to get me seemed not to know what to do with herself at that point so she went to the reception desk to wait. I sat back down and figured that if they had to cancel my appointment so I could stay with Sweet Pea, so be it.

However... soon enough I noticed that Sweet Pea was completely taken up with her hygienist and what she was saying and doing and was not even looking in my direction at all. I asked her, "do you want me to stay with you through your appointment, or would you be comfortable with me leaving to have my own x-rays taken and my teeth cleaned in a different room?" She said she was fine with me leaving, which surprised but pleased me, and I went off to get my teeth taken care of.

The Bug, who was rather spooked by the dental office, had to be held by someone she didn't know while I had my x-rays taken. She could see me the whole time but she was red-faced and sobbing until I could hold her again. Then I was shown into a room for my cleaning and even though she was sitting on my lap she was saying, "no, no, no!" and was not enjoying this new place one bit. However, when she realized that nobody was going to take her from me again she relaxed, and she played happily on my lap the entire time I had my cleaning and polishing and talked with the dentist. I told myself that this was really good experience for her because she watched me be completely calm and matter-of-fact while having a cleaning, and once she's old enough to have her first appointment, she will have seen more of my appointments and probably Sweet Pea's, so hopefully we'll be able to get her in younger than we got Sweet Pea in for her first cleaning.

The good news: My teeth are in good shape and I have no cavities.

The bad news: Sweet Pea appears to have inherited my family's dental genes, which are horrible. We brush and floss and all that jazz regularly, but get lots of cavities. Slipshod has magic teeth with no cavities to date that I am aware of. Can you believe that? It's amazing if you ask me.

So anyway, Sweet Pea has three cavities. Bummer. We knew of two of them, and they are unfortunately in her upper front teeth. We had been seeing the decay for a while and I was sort of freaking out about getting her to a dentist to get those taken care of! She also has a cavity in one of her lower molars, on the chewing surface. So, now we need to figure out when we can get those filled. I'm going to make an appointment on a day when Slipshod can stay home with The Bug and I can go with Sweet Pea by myself and sit there and hold her hand or whatever she needs, with no distractions. The dentist said we could try at their office and if it didn't work he could refer us to a place where they could fill her teeth under anesthesia, but I really don't want to do that and I really don't think it will be necessary. I remember having cavities filled as a kid, and you know, this is something we have to deal with in life. Awake. Having her under anesthesia for any reason worries me a lot, so I certainly don't want to do it just willy nilly for dental procedures! It may be a little difficult but I think she will be fine. I will be there with her the whole time and she's getting good, apparently, at just powering through things that scare her.

It is unfortunate that we have not done a better job of taking care of Sweet Pea's baby teeth, but at least we're under a dentist's care now and we know what the damage is and can get it fixed.

I started brushing The Bug's teeth as soon as they came up - actually, she was interested in Sweet Pea having her teeth brushed so I think a few times I may have even brushed her gums before the teeth came up. So hopefully we'll fare better with her little teeth. Time shall tell.

Monday, November 12, 2007

More From the Mind of a Four-Year-Old

This on the evening of a particularly difficult day of clashing wills:

Sweet Pea: "Mommy, I love you, but I wish I didn't have to live with a mommy and a daddy."

Me: "Oh, really? Why do you wish that?"

Sweet Pea: "Because when you get grumpy, I get grumpy."

Me: "Well, that happens sometimes when you live with people. Families live together and grumpiness happens. It's very normal. Besides, it would be pretty hard for you to live on your own at age four without a mommy and a daddy."

Sweet Pea: "Why?"

Me: "Well, it would be hard for you to take care of yourself. How would you get food to eat? How would you know when it was time to go to bed? Or time to go to school? Where would you sleep? Who would wash your hair? I mean, sure, when you're in your twenties you can live by yourself, but at age four, nobody is going to give you a job to support yourself; you're too young and too small to do most work that pays money."

Sweet Pea: "Mommy, I ALWAYS want to live with you and Daddy. ALWAYS. I like it when you take care of me."

That appears to have nipped that idea in the bud, but all the same, the neighbors we play with all the time are on alert to call us in the event that Sweet Pea shows up on their doorsteps carrying a suitcase...

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In other news, Sweet Pea was beyond thrilled to return to school today. She even nearly forgot to give me a goodbye hug and kiss in her haste to get to her favorite teacher to say hello, and then into the classroom! It was a bummer that she had to miss three days of school last week, and I was even more bummed when I learned that one of the moms was in the classroom last Friday doing Mendhi tattoos on the kids' and teachers' hands. I saw some of her artwork today on one of the teachers' and one of the students' (her son's) hands, and it was amazing! Her freestyle drawing is fantastic. I'm really, really bummed that Sweet Pea missed out on that, and super duper bummed for me and Sweet Pea that we also had to miss Mom's Night in the classroom on Wednesday. Whine! But, it's good to have Sweet Pea feeling all better, and back in school.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Friday's Update on Sweet Pea

HOORAY! Sweet Pea's fever finally broke last night, within an hour after she fell asleep for the night. Whew! This morning she feels so much better - her headache is gone, her throat doesn't hurt anymore, her tummy feels all better, and she's got enough energy to jump and run. And talk and talk and talk and talk and taaaaaaaaaaalk... She ate a good breakfast this morning and is drinking plenty. Hooray!

Soon after she woke up Sweet Pea announced to me that she wanted me to trim her hair today. This is a big thing because until quite recently, no matter what anyone told her, Sweet Pea did not want her hair even trimmed, because she was sure that all her curls would go away if anyone came near her head with scissors. I guess that by now she has heard enough people, including her beloved favorite teacher, say that it's important to trim your hair to keep it healthy. She held up a curl and said, "I want you to cut this much off." I eyeballed it to be about two inches, so after this morning's shower, breakfast & getting The Bug to sleep for her nap, I went to work on Sweet Pea's hair. The first thing I noticed was that her hair wasn't straight in the back - it came down to a point from so many toddler & kid years of no trimming. SO, I chose a place on the side to call my starting point, cut two inches off, and then made a straight (ha ha - it's good that she has curly hair or it'd be painfully obvious how false that claim probably is) cut across the rest of the back. It looks great - you can't really tell that she lost some length, but it looks healthier over all. AND, she's very excited about having her first hair cut. ha ha!

The Bug had a difficult night last night - I'm watching her to see if she shows signs of having what Sweet Pea just got rid of. So far she doesn't seem to be actually sick. Here's hoping it passes her by! Slipshod's tummy hurt last night and this morning, and my throat doesn't feel right. Joy. I guess it's a good thing tomorrow is Saturday...

Tomorrow I'm getting my hair cut. I'm really looking forward to it because the cut I got back in May has just been growing and growing, so for a couple months now I've been wearing it up in a headband to keep the hair out of my eyes.

Oh - when I woke up this morning I noticed that my nose is no longer pierced... At first I was all confused and then I really foggily remembered waking up in the night, thinking that my nose felt weird, reaching to push the stud back through the hole, and finding that it was all the way out. My first attempt to put the stud back throught the hole didn't work, and apparently I fell asleep after that. I can't find the stud in the bed anywhere. I'm sure the hole has grown shut by now. Whoops! I'm not sure if I'm just going to leave it, or get it pierced again. I was never happy with the stud that I had in there and wanted to get a teeny, tiny sparkly one. We'll see. It's not a major priority.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Has Anyone Got Any Fava Beans?

This from my daughter who professes to like meat, yet (like me) will only eat fish...

Sweet Pea:
Mommy, are cats made of meat?

Me: Um... yes, yes they are.

Sweet Pea: Why?

Me: Well, uh... they have lots of muscles, and when you eat meat, that's what you're eating; the muscles of chickens or cows or whatever.

Sweet Pea: What does people meat taste like?


Apparently recoil and horror at the mere suggestion of cannibalism is a learned behavior... or maybe she's just not old enough to really think it through. Needless to say, after a surprised and horrified burst of disbelieving laughter, we had a discussion about cannibalism and how that's wrong and we wouldn't eat cats either. Shudder.

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And now for what's going on... yesterday Sweet Pea woke up, used the potty, and promptly announced that her tummy really really hurt. When I looked at her, her face was green. I mean, GREEN. She didn't throw up but obviously felt really yucky, even though her temperature was only 99.1. She didn't want anything to drink or eat.

An hour later, after The Bug and I had finished our breakfast, Sweet Pea, all pink now and fever-free, announced that she was hungry. So I fed her most of an apple and a bowl of oatmeal. She really wanted to go to school so I took her temperature again, to confirm her miracle recovery. Unfortunately, at that point she had a fever of 99.6. That number held for a while so I sat with her and we watched a show on TV. Maybe an hour after the first temperature reading of 99.6, I felt her forehead and my hand nearly burst into flames. I took her temperature again, and now it was 102! It got there really fast. So, there was looooots of TV watching yesterday, since all she wanted to do was lie listlessly on the couch. It was difficult to get her to take some Tylenol for the fever - eventually she agreed to take the Motrin instead, because she said it smelled less bad than the Tylenol. After that her fever did abate and she started to sit up and laugh and act almost like herself again.

We gave her meds to keep the temp down until 9:30 last night, and then let her (and us) sleep through. She woke up at 3 something and went potty and said her tummy hurt again - I thought she might throw up but she didn't. Slipshod got her back to sleep in her bed after giving her some more Tylenol. This morning she was hot again - temp 102.1 by breakfast time, but she ate and took her Motrin (not without complaining) and is feeling better enough to chase the loudly meowing cat upstairs and come very loudly into the bedroom where I was getting The Bug to sleep for her nap. Now I've got both girls running amok downstairs. I really hope The Bug will give in to the need for sleep soon, but once Sweet Pea woke her up there was no point in trying to make it happen then. Of course, now they're fighting... AUGH!

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Last week we got Sweet Pea's first preschool evaluation in the mail from her teachers and then the kids didn't have school on Thursday & Friday so the teachers could do parent-teacher conferences those two days. Sweet Pea checks out age-appropriate in everything except working in groups. The teachers said that she is a very calm presence in the classroom, and they really appreciate that. While there are not a lot of out-of-control energetic kids in her class, they said that Sweet Pea is a good example to her classmates with her calm demeanor. She is really good at following the classroom rules and respecting her classmates' and teachers' rights, etc. and can apparently even resolve conflicts with classmates easily by herself! I'm very interested in that; she can sometimes see her way clear to work things out with The Bug when they both want the same toy or whatever, but usually she's not interested in doing that. I suppose it's always different with siblings, though.

Her teachers did note that there is one particular classmate who seems to be taking a special interest in Sweet Pea, who may be able to teach her to come out of herself a little more. I was interested, though not particularly surprised, to hear that she's not working a lot with other kids, though, because I hear her talking about certain other kids all the time - kids who she really likes and plays with. But I guess she's playing with them on the playground. Her teachers said that when it's work time in the classroom, Sweet Pea prefers work alone. She is working in all disciplines on her own, which I was happy to hear because I wasn't sure about that.

In Montessori classrooms there are tons of shelves around the whole classroom with lots of projects on them and the kids can choose whatever activity they want to do. There is an area with big sandpaper letters glued to paper that the kids can feel to figure out how to shape the letters when they're writing, and that area in Sweet Pea's classroom also has other materials to teach kids to practice and learn how to read and write (including the BOB books I told you about a while back when Sweet Pea was first interested in learning to read). There is another area with puzzles, an area with messy things, an area with beads that's geared toward math, sets of weights, etc. etc. etc. Not to mention the gazillion pets they have in sweet pea's classroom - and books, and dolls, etc. etc. etc. They even have things like a whisk broom and dust pan for them to play with, and a spray bottle of water and a squeegee that they can use to wash the windows. I think I could spend a day in that classroom and never run out of things to do! ha ha!

Anyway, all is well with Sweet Pea at school. Her teachers say that she is noticeably happy every day, so they can tell she really wants to be there. Slipshod and I said, "Oh yes, she really does. She loves school!" Despite the not working in groups thing, her social skills have improved dramatically since she started school. She now goes so far as to introduce herself to random people in the pet store or wherever - she'll even introduce me to them by my first name, and tell them her age. Sometimes it freaks me out, and I have to tell her that while it's good to talk to people and be sociable, she has to be careful what she tells strangers. BUT, it is really amazing to see the leaps and bounds she has made socially since starting school. Yay! She even plays better with Speed Racer now, because she knows how to say, "okay, we've played your game for a while, not let's do something else" and she's learning how to deal with other people who aren't having a great day, etc. It's pretty darn cool to watch.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween 2007




The Bug, Speed Racer, and Sweet Pea


Sweet Pea, Speed Racer, Moose (Speed Racer's little brother), and The Bug
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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

There's Something in the Air

Tonight after dinner we got lazy and allowed the girls to stay up a little too late. Once I was finally rounding up the children to herd (can you call two a herd? Probably not. Hmm) them upstairs, Slipshod jumped off the couch saying, "Earthquake." I said, "I don't feel it." I could tell that it was happening - the house was clearly moving, based on the creaks coming from the walls. It kept going and Slipshod couldn't believe that I couldn't feel it. He watched me during the rest of it - the quake lasted for a while - and I never felt a thing. It registered 5.6 on the Richter scale. Not huge, but we got calls from lots of family members asking if we felt it, because they did.

It's been this way with almost every earthquake I have ever experienced. When I was growing up in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia, one summer Saturday I left the rest of the family in the back yard (we were all out there doing yard maintenance - seriously - one of our more Norman Rockwell moments, perhaps) and went inside to get myself a drink. The kitchen table was empty save for the glass I set upon it, into which I poured some lemonade. As I turned to replace the pitcher in the refrigerator, I heard a sound and when I looked back at the table, my glass of lemonade was jumping and dancing around. I went back outside and asked my mom if our house could be possessed. Turned out we'd had a 3.4 earthquake. I hadn't felt a thing, despite the house clearly moving.

I didn't even feel the 1989 quake, and I was in San Rafael at the time. I knew something was happening because everyone I was with (we were outside, walking to the dining hall on our college campus) reacted - one friend even said she felt like she almost fell over. Oh, and I also had an inkling what was happening because somebody across campus yelled, "EARTHQUAKE!"

When we got to the dining hall friends who had already been inside told me that everyone had dived under their tables when the quake hit. But I didn't feel it. I'm serious. What I noticed was the shivering sound in the air as all the tall, old eucalyptus trees we were walking under shook. And of course the ensuing shower of debris (leaves, shredded bark & fruit) from the trees confirmed that something was not quite right. But I didn't feel the earthquake.

I think I did feel some of the aftershocks, but probably only because I was sitting on furniture that moved when they hit.

There was another earthquake I remember happening when I worked at the college. My boss came running out of her office asking if I had felt it and I said, "oh, is that what that was? I didn't feel anything, but it sounded like they were moving very large furniture in the office above ours." Nobody else had heard the noises I had heard; but they had all felt the quake. Again, I felt nothing.

There was one a number of years back that I did feel. It happened at 7:30am on a Saturday and we didn't have kids yet, so of course Slipshod and I were in bed. I woke up because the bed was shaking. I couldn't figure out what was going on, then decided that Slipshod must be getting out of bed despite the fact that pre-kids he would never have gotten out of bed that early on a Saturday. Or on a weekday, for that matter. I turned to look, but he was snoozing, unmoving, next to me. I looked into the open closet and some hangers were swinging gaily back and forth and since I was not very awake I started to freak out a little because I couldn't figure out what was going on. I poked Slipshod, whimpering, and told him that the hangers were swinging. In his characteristic high-functioning half-awake state, which ensures that he will not remember a thing once he truly wakes up, he said, "oh, it's just an earthquake. Go back to sleep," which he rolled over and did himself. Ha ha ha!

This seems so weird to me. I should be able to feel the earth move under my feet, right? But I only feel quakes when I'm sitting or lying on furniture that's moving. If I'm actually in contact with the ground or the ground floor of a building, I don't feel a thing.

Once years ago, in an effort to explain this phenomenon to myself, I remembered the Medieval Theory of the Humors which I had learned about in Shakespeare class during college. I think I did this after that quake I felt a work. I knew that my element according to the Medieval Theory of the Humors was Air, and it turned out that my boss' element was Earth. I extrapolated that she could feel earthquakes because her element was Earth, and that it made sense that I heard rather than felt them, since my element was Air. Never mind that my extrapolation does absolutely nothing to explain why given that I think most people do feel earthquakes, people whose elements are Fire and Water should also feel earthquakes, though their elements wouldn't necessarily give reasons why they should feel them.

Well, that's it, really: My inability to feel earthquakes is such a curiosity to me that I had to tell you all about it, and my pet theory. Hee. Oh - the epicenter of tonight's earthquake was about 5 miles from our house in the South Bay so I talked with one of our renters (a longtime friend) and he said the place is fine. The earthquake woke him up and spilled a can of Sprite on the floor; that's about it for that house. But it must have felt quite a lot stronger there than it did here.

Let me leave you with something silly for Halloween: A picture of a friend and I the last year Slipshod and I really dressed for a Halloween party (I even made the dresses - we used to be so into that sort of thing). I'll even tell you a secret: This picture was taken mere hours before Sweet Pea was conceived. We're pretty sure it was the green wig that helped us finally conceive after 21 months of trying.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Vanity

I love my Sweet Pea. Sure, she thinks it's funny to pat my stretched out belly to make it jiggle and then she asks why it's jiggly, but today she came home from school and told me that I have a small bum. What's not to love?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

United Nations Day


PLEASE click to see this picture bigger. She's got the cutest little look on her face. Ha ha!

Sweet Pea's school doesn't celebrate your everyday, run-of-the-mill holidays; they substitute a set of their own. Their first big event of the year is the music program on United Nations Day, and their answer to kids dressing up for Halloween at school is instead to have the kids dress on United Nations Day in something traditional from their culture. That is how it came to be that today was the day on which Sweet Pea donned my childhood dirndl, sent to me by my godfather from Germany I don't know how many years ago. We've both been bursting with giggles waiting for her to get to wear this dress. I couldn't believe how perfectly it fit her when she tried it on recently, especially because I, who was a small child until age 12, wore this dress when I was a full year or two older than Sweet Pea is now. I keep thinking I wore it when I was 6, but it doesn't seem possible that she could be that much bigger than I was at age 4.

ANYWAY - it was a really fun day and we even got to penetrate the "inner sanctum" that is Sweet Pea's classroom (parents always drop off and pick up the kids at the door and are generally not invited into the classroom) for a potluck after the music program. The show was really really cute too. There were at least two classes of the little kids, though I think it might have been more like four, and then there were some older classes too. They sang about six songs, I think, and signed most of them as well. I videotaped the whole concert except for about 10 seconds when I turned off the camera in a panic because I didn't know where The Bug was. Turned out she was just on the other side of the lady next to me, but it was scary there for a second. At one point I looked down to check on The Bug and saw that she had taken the bigger kids' signing as an indication that she should pull out every sign she could think of, so while they sang and signed the words to their songs, The Bug signed "baby," "truck," "apple," "cat," and every other word she could think of for which she knows a sign. That totally cracked me up.

We had a great time in the classroom afterward during the potluck (we took potato pancakes and applesauce - Slipshod and I were up until 1:30 this morning cooking the pancakes), and then were invited to leave early because there were too many cars in the parking lot and the administrator wanted to be sure that the parents of the older kids would have somewhere to park when it was time to pick up their children. Ha ha!

I quipped a few times to fellow parents during the potluck that what with our broad cultural background, Sweet Pea might be able to wear outfits and bring food from a different culture every year without repeating. I think next year we'll go with Irish and make soda bread. But what is a traditional Irish outfit? I'm not buying her one of those dresses unless she actually takes up the dancing. You know what I'm talking about.

Guten tag!

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Haiku Friday

Haiku Friday

Blue Potato Bush
Little tomato-like fruit
This plant's a Nightshade

Naughty baby holds
bitten orange fruit in hand
Feigns another bite

Mama looks it up
Page online says "poisonous"
Big sister freaks out

"Will she be okay?
I don't want baby to die!"
"Calm down, sweetie pie."

Call Poison Control
Fruit is only poisonous
if lots is eaten

Worst case for baby
is a bad taste in her mouth
She nurses it out

Baby acting fine
This one is far more trouble
than her big sister


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Just A Few Pictures

(As always, click on any picture to see a bigger version - helps especially in cases like when you want to actually see what The Bug is holding in the last picture - ha ha)

They're just so cute. There's no denying it. Sweet Pea is starting be a little more playful with The Bug again. After she started school her interest in her sister faded and it was kinda sad and there was much yelling and screaming when The Bug would try to play with Sweet Pea. But Sweet Pea has taught The Bug to sit in her lap, and The Bug loves to do that, and sometimes they're both happy with the arrangement. Cute snuggliness follows!

Since she started school, Sweet Pea is no longer drawing ONLY kitties. She will draw just about anything you ask her to, and also does drawings of whatever comes to mind. Above you'll see a picture she drew in a card for her grandparents. The picture shows me changing The Bug's diaper! I was astounded when she showed this to me, because you can tell that The Bug is lying down, and even on a changing table! The drawer on our changing table has two knobs, which are the two circles you see below where the baby is lying. Plus, suddenly out of nowhere she's drawing clothes, hands, feet, etc. It's wild! I have seen her draw hands like she drew my feet above, and you'll notice that my feet look like toes but The Bug's look like little circles. I love to see the evolution of Sweet Pea's drawing style.

Of course, she does still draw mostly kitties, and now she is also writing on every picture. She can write forward and backward but these days she is choosing to write backward and thinks it's funny. I don't know if she's doing that because she's left-handed and it feels better that way, or if this is just a phase, or what. I don't know if I should try to encourage her to write forward or not. My teacher-sister told me a while back that writing backward is normal until age 9, but she is also making the letters in mirror image, which you can't tell from the "Mommy" written above simply because those letters can look right either direction (cat, as you see, is written forward, which is nice - but she writes it both ways). My teacher-Mom tells me that sometimes if kids learn to write letters backward it is really hard to get them to fix that later. For now I think I will just wait and see what happens, though. I do every so often tell Sweet Pea that in our language we read and write from the left to the right, and since she writes on everything she puts on paper (that is to say, she doesn't just draw pictures anymore), I know her teachers are seeing this too - so I'll wait and see if they say anything, or I'll ask about it at her parent-teacher conference next month.


Grapes, kitty?

Continue reading below for last night's post.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mmf

Dear Bloggety Blog:

I just want you to know that I think of you often, and nearly every day compose a thing or three to post - but my musings almost never leave my head and gets typed in here.

Daily I am left exhausted (that's only the best word I can come up with right now - but the feeling is much more intense than that) and absolutely confounded at the thought that some people actually have clean, clutter-free houses and children who have regular bedtimes and have a bath and read books every single night.

Some days I really don't know if I can make it through The Bug's teething to those seemingly far off days of glory when I shall sleep more than three hours at a time. Yes, I did make it through Sweet Pea's equally difficult teething, but she was my only child then. Raising two through this is enough to grind me into sand. Every day.

However, despite the extreme difficulty and frustration of last night (The Bug woke up VERY often and at one point when she was actually sleeping, her big sister inexplicably woke me up and kept me awake for a fracking hour and a half), somehow today I made it through with no yelling at all, and only a few stern noises at the girls. You've still got to use your Mom Voice when the 16-month-old climbs up onto the dining room table and then smiles at you, rather than moving her little butt backward and onto the chair, when you tell her to get off the table.

Today was Picture Day for Sweet Pea's class, and omigod she looked adorable. We went clothes shopping for her, uh... last week? Well, recently, anyway, and the outfit she wore was just super duper cute and it spoke to me and said, "I am the one she must wear for picture day." And she agreed, and I can't wait to see the pictures. When we got home today we were on our way to ring our friends' doorbell across the street when Sweet Pea tripped in their driveway and started crying really hard, and blood started leaking through the knees of her tights. So we went home through the sudden downpour which I swear started the second Sweet Pea fell, and stayed at home instead, doctoring Sweet Pea's knees (they're really not that bad off but she hasn't had many injuries so to her it was a big thing) and doing laundry until dinnertime. And playing, of course. Always playing.

If there's anything else I'm too pooped to think of it right now.

Oh, wait, no I'm not: Last night Slipshod and I finished the final Harry Potter book. I didn't mention anything about reading it before because while everyone else was devouring book 7, we still hadn't even begun book 6, so we read them both straight through and just kept our heads down so nobody would blurt to us about either of those books! We started reading the Harry Potter books out loud together with book 3, and it has been nice to have that as one of "our things" to do together. I think that reading book 7 immediately on the heels of book 6 made the last book far more intense for us, and there were several points during the story in book 7 when we were both actually crying and having trouble reading. Slipshod has been reading HP to me almost every night while I do the dishes (every so often he washed and I read, but mostly it was the other way around - at least we were spending time together) but over the past week we've been moving to the couch with the book and forsaking our TV shows to keep reading the book. Last night we stayed up later than we normally would so that we could finish it. We enjoyed the book, and indeed the whole series immensely, but it had to end and we were not disappointed. But NOW - I'm rather bereaved tonight and haven't even started washing the dishes at 10pm because, there's no more Harry Potter left to read! Whatever will we do? I suppose there are other books out there, or we could just talk instead, der, but... it was so much fun having that story to look forward to every night! Oh well. I saw something on Amazon.com about how "There IS Life After Harry Potter." I guess I'll have to figure out where to go from here. Not ready to move on yet.

That is all and I hope that at least some of it made sense. I'll be back at some point, and maybe I'll even have something interesting to say. But right now, I am the servant of the teeth. I was all pissed off last night/this morning about how much The Bug woke up last night, even though I knew it was teething related, but later this morning I got a look at what we're dealing with, and then I felt rightfully sorry for her and held my grumpiness in check. At one point she was nursing and I removed her from one breast simply to move her to the other side. She started crying a lot, which was strange because usually she knows I'll just move her over to the other side, but I took advantage of her open mouth to get a look, and saw that her two upper one-year molars are cutting in tandem. She must be in a whole helluva lot of pain, poor thing. But part of me is rejoicing that the bottom two molars have (I think) finished cutting and these two are coming in at the same time. I am REALLY hoping that we'll have a week of good sleep before she starts cutting the eye teeth. And then, hopefully we'll be in better shape for a number of months until she cuts the two-year molars. Here's praying... 'cause Mama needs SLEEP!!!!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

If Only We Had a Picture

Yesterday The Bug and I caused a laugh riot amongst the teachers and parents, complete with lots of pointing, when we went to pick up Sweet Pea from school.

First you have to understand a couple things. 1) The Bug has turned into one of those kids who will struggle like a little tornado to get down if she's being carried but wants to walk. Once she gets down, she runs away from me, laughing, and never looks back. This has become a problem in the school parking lot, as you might imagine. She's really hard to hold onto once she starts struggling, especially if I'm holding Sweet Pea's hand with my other hand - so - 2) this week I started carrying The Bug in the Baby Bjorn during drop-off and pick-up at school. Luckily she still LOVES her Bjorn and actually still asks for a "whee!" (ride) in it every day if it's inside the house where she can see it. She grabs it and brings it to me and says, "I wanna whee? Mommy whee!"

So - yesterday on the way to school The Bug took a book full of pictures of babies, and "read" it quietly in her car seat. When we got to school I opened her door and donned the Baby Bjorn, and she still sat there, reading her book, only looking up to show me the babies in her book. When I picked her up to put her in the Bjorn I suggested that we leave the book in the car. She shook her head adamantly, refusing to let go. "Okay," I said, "but you'll have to hold on to it!" So I popped her into the Baby Bjorn, facing out, book and all. She just kept holding it in front of her with both hands, looking at it, seemingly oblivious to everything around her, completely engrossed in the book, as I locked the car and walked through the parking lot and into the school. One of the teachers on one of the play grounds pointed our way as we neared the front of the school and she leaned to another teacher and said something. Then she walked over to the side of the fence where we were walking and said something to me about The Bug being ready for school. Ha ha! As we continued in the front door, parents pointed and laughed and said, "look at that!" I really wish we could have had someone take a picture; we must have looked really comical. Oh well - there will probably be other opportunities. We'll have to try for a picture next time.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Great Breast Fest Montage

This was the first thing I saw online today when I checked the Queen of Spain's blog - and it made me cry. AND - The Bug is in it. You'll see her toward the endish, wearing a rainbow striped shirt, looking right at the camera. I'd post links but just don't have the steam. Maybe later. In the mean time, credit is given (er, taken) at the end of the video. Enjoy.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Catching Up... Yet again

That time thing - it just keeps going, so without access to the Tardis, I just have to try to keep up.

Last Saturday Sweet Pea's school had an all-school picnic in the park. We walked over, partly beause we can - the school is only a 17 minute walk away, and the park is right behind the school - and partly because last Friday my brakes nearly failed completely when The Bug and I were on our way home from dropping Sweet Pea off at school. We walked to pick her up that day.

Saturday was a beautiful day for a walk and a picnic, and The Bug was beside herself with giggles when we showed her that she could ride the Bjorn on Daddy too! She's far more used to being strapped to the front of me.

BAD MOMMMY. BAD DADDY. In our usual style we were late getting out the door, so we went as fast as we could and I didn't remember until we got to the park that I had meant to bring our wide-brimmed sun hats. Sweet Pea fared just fine, porcelain skin and all, but The Bug's poor little face got completely fried sometime during the afternoon. By bedtime it was that awful, painful blue-red of a deep sunburn. Boy did Slipshod and I feel awful. Sigh.

Slipshod has been in Portugal this week - he is currently on a plane on his way home and we will see him tomorrow morning when we wake up. I may see him or at least talk to him when he gets home late late tonight (or early tomorrow morning), but the girls will have to wait until they wake up. I know he'll be loopy from the time change, but I hope he doesn't have any delusions of sleeping in, because both girls have missed him something fierce and will be all over him as soon as they wake up and see him. The picture above is a drawing Sweet Pea did at school on Wednesday, depicting Slipshod on the airplane, wearing earphones. ha ha! (Click on the picture to see more detail)

For most of the week The Bug seemed to be convinced that Slipshod was actually here somewhere and he was hiding from her. She repeatedly asked, "Where Dada?" and kept looking in his office, or in the bedroom when we were in the bathroom, or thinking that when she was sitting in her chair at the table in the dining room, surely Daddy was in the living room... but yesterday when she woke up she had had enough of the game. After waking up and saying, "Hi, Mama! Hiiiiiiiiii, Mommy!" to me for a while, she sat up with her back to me and said, "Want see Dada." Poor thing. Both girls have missed him so much. Yesterday we managed to be home when Slipshod called on the computer, so we got to talk to him before dinner. He was up packing in the middle of the night (1am) in Portugal. I hope he gets some nappage in on the planes today. Sweet Pea was so excited to talk to Slipshod that she kept opening her mouth at me in a big excited face, and shaking her arms to show how excited she was. It will be so nice to have Slipshod home!

The Bug had a really rough evening yesterday. Part of the problem was definitely that she was tired - she did a little more running around yesterday than she has done for a while - and part of it probably also had to do with teething - the second lower molar is partway through the gums and this morning at breakfast it was bleeding and she kept sticking her fingers in her mouth, crying - but I have to wonder if her grumpiness yesterday evening might also have had to do with Slipshod's absence. She definitely had a different attitude about the situation yesterday. She didn't ask more than once or twice where Dada was. And she is absolutely missing him.

Oh well - we just have to make it through today and then we'll get to see him in the morning. Yay!

As far as surviving around the house without Slipshod, we've done just fine this week. I was really good about actually cooking (when he's home I far too often ask him to pick up dinner on the way home), keeping up with the dishes and laundry - even the litter box. Of course we've got our usual clutter, but I did attack one or two little clutter spots, and keeping up with the laundry is a huge deal to me because we had a ton of extra sheets to wash last week. I never got my grocery list written last weekend and Slipshod had been going to do a shopping trip for us before we left since he usually does most of the grocery shopping, so I was a bit worried about attempting a big trip with both girls, but we did it on Monday and everything went really well. So I'm feeling pretty darn good. We had a good week despite Slipshod being out of town.

Okay, now I feel like I'm babbling, so I'll stop now. Last night I completely forgot to cut the veggies for tonight's dinner, so I'm going to do that now, as well as get Sweet Pea dressed for school and all that good stuff. Wish me luck! Eep!
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