Thursday, September 27, 2007

I can't think of a title right now

The Scene:

Last night.
I'm in the master bathroom doing my best to get the kids ready for bed. Sweet Pea, who is wearing her usual uniform of only a pair of Hello Kitty underwear, has just been playing peek-a-boo around the door frame with either her daddy or her sister, both of whom are in the bedroom. Sweet Pea jerks her head back too quickly in the excitement of the game and bonks the side of her head; I hear her glasses make a noise when her head hits the door frame.

Sweet Pea is crying really hard and I'm on my knees holding her, trying to soothe her, but laughing my ass off.

Why am I laughing?

Because the Bug has walked into the bathroom and, oblivious to her sister's pain and suffering, has noticed the most fun thing at eye level: The kitty undies on her sister's bum. She pats enthusiastically at the kitties & thus her sister's bum with both hands.

"Kitty!" she screeches in glee.

She then proceeds to sign "cat" on her sister's bum, rather than on her own face, where one would usually sign "cat" by pulling the hands in opposite directions to show the imagined whiskers of a cat.

THEN - oh yes, it gets even better - The Bug leans toward the cute kitties - remember, on Sweet Pea's undies - and makes kissing noises with her mouth.

I nearly dropped the sobbing Sweet Pea in my giggle fit.

**For the record, Sweet Pea is fine and was only crying so hard because she was tired. I mean, I'm sure it hurt, too, but things affect her more intensely when she's tired, y'know what I mean? And - I was laughing silently, so Sweet Pea's feelings were not hurt in last night's incident.**

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Blogger? I Don't Even Know Her!

Some pictures to grab your interest. Sweet Pea wrote "Mommy" and "Daddy" all by herself, without anyone telling her how to spell them! She has of course had help before and since then, but that time she did it by herself, and was absolutely thrilled with herself about it, as were Slipshod and I.

Sweet Pea & Speed Racer often draw together with chalk on Speed Racer's driveway or front walk. Well, actually, they draw separately, because Sweet Pea has a hissy fit if Speed Racer draws or walks on anything she draws. So I guess Speed Racer was admiring Sweet Pea's drawing in the picture above...

I was trying to take a picture of Sweet Pea's drawing. She said it was "a cat making machine." Yes, I have read her the book about "Where Babies Come From," and it includes where kittens come from, but... well, she has a very silly uncle who draws funny things for her and puts silly ideas into her head. I'm pretty sure that's where this came from - a discussion with him. And her own imagination, of course, because that discussion with him occurred practically a year ago.

The Bug likes to draw, too. She'll scribble around and then declare to me, while pointing at her drawing, "Kitty!" ha ha ha! Some of our friends thought it was amazing that we could tell by age 2 that Sweet Pea was left-handed. Well, we've been able to tell since she was 6 months old that The Bug is undeniably, overpoweringly right-handed. There is just no question.

And now on to other things...

Okay, yes, again, we're still here. Just enduring life coming at us like a charging buffalo.

My throat has hurt for about five days now but I think it's safe to say that I did not get Strep - just some kind of thing. The sore throat is my only symptom and it's better in the morning and worse at night. But doesn't really get in the way too-too much.

Slipshod, however, started having a sore ear last Thursday night and was convinced that he had a zit in his year. But then it got worse and worse over the weekend, to the point where he could barely function. Yesterday the girls and I took him all the way down to see our old doctor because Slipshod and I still haven't found ourselves a doctor up here - and it turns out that he has a rather advanced case of swimmer's ear. He's treating it now not just with antibiotic ear drops, but also with an oral antibiotic, since it had gotten so bad that his jaw hurt too. He is still in bad shape today and the pain kept him awake most of last night.

Sweet Pea missed school yesterday since we were out driving so far to the doctor, etc. This morning she has a sore throat. GAH.

The Bug had been sleeping really well for a few nights, but the last two have been miserable - rolling around, waking up again and again, and last night she was pretty much awake and crying if there was no nipple in her mouth. I guess we're on to cutting the next molar. I'll have to poke around today, at the risk of getting bitten, to determine which molar is on its way through her gums now.

I finally found time over the weekend to send a catch-up e-mail and some family pictures to an old friend who has been in Iraq for 3 months, with 12 more to go. Hadn't talked with him in, oh, 10 years or so... so there was a lot to tell. This is his second tour over of duty over there.

Okay, I guess duty calls... one of the hungry cats just attacked my foot, and I need to see how bad Sweet Pea's throat is. I hope she can still go to school today...

Post Script: Sweet Pea has a bit of a fever. It's not bad, but it's there, so her school will thank me to keep her home another day, I'm sure. Sigh. I hope it's gone tomorrow - I hate that she's missing school already, and yesterday wasn't even because she was sick! Grumble.

Post Post Script: We were hoping to avoid this, but there's no getting around it - Slipshod's company is sending him to Portugal next week. Joy. Only for a week, but still - I can often barely make it through a day until he gets home and keep my sanity. I hope that everyone will be recovered from our various illnesses and infections before he flies out.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Rambling Update

I'm glad I have girls. Because I just can't stand the halfway hairstyle the boys are wearing right now. I mean, actual long hair is one thing, and I know you have to go through a halfway stage to get there. But keeping it cut so that it's perpetually in that halfway state with the bangs in the eyes drives me nuts.

My parents were here on Wednesday-Thursday this week for a visit. It was great to see them but their assessment of The Bug always sort of wigs me out. I remember after she turned a year old and started walking, my dad said something like, "now you're really in trouble." I couldn't figure out why, but one of the books I have that talks about the different ages and developments said that after 1 is a stormy time for some kids because they're exploring independence, etc. Anyway, The Bug has been described as a "spitfire," a "live wire," and one of my mother-in-law's friends says that it looks as if she's embracing her hair color.

I dunno... for us it's just day-to-day living. The Bug is definitely louder and more climby and runny and apt to do dangerous things than her big sister was at the age of 15 months. But she's also rather attached to both me and her daddy, loves to sit in our laps and hug and kiss us, etc.

There are days, however... Like yesterday, for example. The Bug started running amok and screaming, etc. right after breakfast, and didn't really stop for the rest of the day. She's having fun most of the time, but I'm having to run like the wind to keep up with her. She even wrenched away from me a couple times in the parking lot when we were walking back to the car after picking up Sweet Pea from school. Yikes! Now I am actually beginning to see why some parents put their kids in harnesses on leashes... no kidding.

Sweet Pea's school had us make earthquake kits for our kids, which I thought was pretty cool. In case of emergency the school has water, blankets, etc., but they asked us to put a bottle of water and two days' worth of food into a gallon-sized ziploc bag with our child's name on it and take those to school for them to have on hand in case of an emergency. It took us a while to get ours figured out and put together since the school is a nut-free zone (due to deadly allergies that some of the students have) and Sweet Pea doesn't eat meat for the most part. Even if she did eat meat I couldn't see her consenting to eat jerky, even if she were hungry. We eventually decided that just those "cheese" and cracker things with the red plastic spread sticks - I know you know what I'm talking about - would have to do for protein, and the rest is freeze-dried and dried fruit. I also, at the school's very good suggestion, included a note to Sweet Pea from us so that if she actually is ever stuck at school during an emergency, she will know that we know of the situation and will be there to get her as quickly as we can, etc. She already has pictures of us in her cubby at school, so I think she's got the best we can give her in an emergency there.

Of course, even though the school called these "Earthquake Kits," this assignment made me actually think about and face the fact that in an emergency, which might not necessarily be an earthquake, my children and I could actually be separated. It's a hard thought to consider and I had truly never thought about it before. I think that's something you have to think about long enough to prepare for the eventuality, and then you have to put it away so you don't go crazy with worry.

This assignment for Sweet Pea's school also made me think about how unprepared we are at home for emergencies. There was a time when things were uncertain in 2001 when I did keep extra water, canned food, etc. on hand. I never had a true emergency kit, but now I'm thinking about that again - thinking that I really should put something together for our family so we're not SOL if something should happen. And honestly, I'm more worried about something awful actually happening nowadays than I used to be. Our president is clueless enough to think that Nelson Mandela is dead and that he can just trash talk nuclear nations as a matter of course. I need to stock up our emergency supplies.

In other news, Sweet Pea is so excited about writing that she has started making books! She'll staple a bunch of paper together, draw pictures, and then write little stories about the pictures. Of course, she does not know how to spell just anything and everything; she will sit down with a book and me, or Slipshod, or my mom, and ask how to write the sentences she has thought of. Still, it's pretty cool and she is JAZZED about knowing how to write the letters that make up words and sentences. She does know how to write some words by herself now: Cat (of course, ha ha), her name, and Mommy and Daddy. She also sat down the other day and wrote her numbers up to 11 and her 1s didn't look the way I taught her, so she is obviously learning numbers at school! It's really exciting to watch her learn and to hear the new songs she's learning, paintings she does, etc. She is just so excited about school, even though she misses me while she's there. It has become part of the school dropoff ritual now for her to say, after giving me a hug and a kiss, "It's time for me to go in now, Mama. I'm going to go." I love that she's learning how to set boundaries so well at such a young age.

Well, I could write more but I'd rather eat lunch and watch some TV while The Bug is sleeping (and Sweet Pea is at school). Then, lucky me, I have to go scrub two of the bathrooms, because we just found out that my mom, who was not feeling well while she and Dad were here, has a rather frightening and contagious GI infection. Joy.

Monday, September 17, 2007


We had a great Saturday - attended the baptism of our good friends' sweet little baby girl, got to see said friends and baby's big sister and even a bunch more good friends! It was a wonderful day, and getting to spend the day catching up with good friends finally made me get off my bootie and start setting dates to see more friends we haven't seen in way too long. Got things set up for the next two months. Hooray!

Other than that - they say that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. So I'm done. Way too tired and grumpy in general to be able to write a good post.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Oh, Hi!

Yes, I'm still here. Just can't seem to find the time to sit and write anymore. I'm lucky if I get to read my e-mail and peer quickly at two other people's blogs per day.

Things are going well. Sweet Pea settled right into school after our little hiccup (the forgotten hug & kiss) on the first day. She has not cried since, and thoroughly enjoys her time at school every day. She went so far as to describe her third day as "brilliant," which had me giggling. Every day she gives me a drawing, a painting or a piece of macaroni jewelry that she has made. I don't know what to do with it all, but am heartwarmed every time she comes running out of the classroom yelling, "MOMMYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!", throws her arms around me in a big hug, and says loudly, "I made this for YOU!" Happy mommy sigh.

This past week we reached a funny point with our goodbyes. Since that first day Sweet Pea has been very concerned about remembering our hug and kiss every day, and even goes so far as to give me at least ten kisses and a long hug. However, she seems very keen to get into the classroom as quickly as possible after the teacher unlocks the door and welcomes the children in, so we station ourselves near the door once the teacher arrives, give lots of hugs and kisses, and then she's all business and says, "Okay Mom, I'm going to go in there now." She stays to hear me say, "okay, have a wonderful afternoon, I'll pick you up in 2 1/2 hours," and then she's off like a flash to the door. It's so cute! Tee hee

At her school there are two teachers per class and one of them is always stationed by the door to welcome the children with a handshake, eye contact, and a warm verbal welcome. I really like that - it must make the children feel very noticed and cared about. Although watching Sweet Pea go in, it looks like she views the welcome as a necessary toll she has to pay to get into that fun, fun classroom. ha ha!

Many people have told me that The Bug will miss her big sister while she is at school, but she really does not show any sign of such a feeling. While she adores Sweet Pea and wants to be with her and doing what she's doing when Sweet Pea is home, Sweet Pea is pushing her away more often than not these days and not being very nice, so I venture to theorize that The Bug may actually be relieved to have some time without her sister. She (The Bug) and I have fun running errands just the two of us, or just playing at home. On days when The Bug does not take her nap right after breakfast, she naps the entire time Sweet Pea is at school, beginning as soon as possible after we get home from dropping off Sweet Pea, and ending either when The Bug wakes up, or when I wake her up to go pick up Sweet Pea. Those afternoons are super nice for me, since before this I almost never got a quiet portion of any day for myself. You'd think I could post on my blog during that time, but I usually "waste" most of that time instead, doing things like washing dishes, folding laundry, prepping for dinner, talking on the phone, reading other people's blogs, occasionally writing an e-mail, and finally sitting in front of the TV by myself, catching up on "my" shows, Monk and Psych. It's very difficult for me to get through those shows each week, since I figure it's not a good policy to watch murder mysteries while the girls are in the room, and Slipshod and I have different shows that we both enjoy that we watch together at night. This week if The Bug has a morning nap on any of the three middle days of the week, I'm planning to take her to some friends' house while Sweet Pea is at school, to visit said friend mommy and her twins. Yay!

In other news - you'll probably be reading this on Slipshod's & my 12th anniversary, which is Monday. We had his mom & her hubs come up on Saturday and spend the night. They watched the kids while we walked to a nearby sit-down restaurant and had a nice dinner. The plan had been for us to go back home after dinner, get the girls to bed, and then go out to a movie. However... during dinner I had second thoughts about going back. The two of us and the kids had gone to a birthday party in the pre-and after-noon part of the day and as a result The Bug had totally missed out her nap, with the result that she napped instead in the car on the way home and then again from 3:39pm-5:30pm. I was pretty sure that I would not be able to get her to sleep a mere 2 hours later, and couldn't bear the thought of leaving her again. When we left for dinner she was absolutely heartbroken and screamed and reached for us, etc. Since she had settled down while we were gone, I didn't want to shake everything up again, and due to her late nap and the fact that Sweet Pea had also slept in the car & would therefore not be tired at the usual time either, we decided to just head on out to the movie.

Well, Stardust was sold out at the first and closest-to-home theater where it was showing, so we had to drive back toward home and farther in the opposite direction (from the first theater) and go to a later show. Neither Slipshod nor I realized how crazy long that movie was going to be. It was sort of difficult to enjoy the movie with Slipshod, who recently read the book, almost constantly saying, "oh my god, why did they - what the f-," looking down, putting his hands over his eyes, and shaking his head. However, I did like most of it, though there were some REALLY obvious problems, like how did Tristan suddenly and without us seeing any introduction know Septimus near the end? I'm guessing that the scene where they met must be on the cutting room floor and the continuity people missed that inconsistency... I did enjoy getting out and having a date with Slipshod but not even halfway into the movie I felt incredibly tired and I felt a nearly uncontrollable need to be snuggling my baby and nursing and rocking her to sleep. I never worried about Sweet Pea - she's completely fine being left alone with her grandparents now, even at bedtime. But the baby? Not so much. And *I* missed *her* probably just as much as she missed me. But only after I'd been out of the house for the first 3 hours. hee hee. When we got out of the movie it was 10:30 and I pretty much ran to the car. And when we got home I ran to the front door, but it was locked and I didn't have my keys! Slipshod took his deliberate, sweet time getting his keys out of his pocket and opening the door - he's such a meanie sometimes.

When we got home we found all the lights on, but everyone but Grandma sleeping. Sweet Pea and her grandpa apparently took forever to get her ready for and into bed, and left all the lights on in the process, but The Bug fell asleep on Grandma, without any crying, before Sweet Pea even got her teeth brushed! Grandma was afraid of waking The Bug by setting her in the crib because she figured if The Bug woke up during the transition, she would start screaming for me and it would just be allllllll over. So Grandma stayed in the rocking chair and let the baby sleep on her until we got home. I got into my jammies as quickly as I could, took The Bug from Grandma, got into bed with the baby still sleeping on my chest, and just laid there, cuddling her. Half an hour later Slipshod came up for bed and didn't see The Bug when he peered in the dark into the crib. "Where's the Baby" he asked, and I said, "I'm still hugging her..." I did eventually roll her off my chest, onto the bed next to me and go to sleep. :o)

Changing the subject again - Sweet Pea's interest in spelling and writing words has been piqued, so every day she asks me how to spell whatever words she can think of, and I tell her, and she writes them. Often instead of just giving her the letters I ask her, "what makes the (whatever) sound?" and she answers, always correctly so far, and then goes and writes it. She gets so excited when she guesses the letters correctly, and she can spot her name and her sister's name on things because they each have a puzzle with their names, so she has seen them spelled out on a regular basis. She can also write her own name now without any help. Her words sometimes come out as a mirror image of how you and I would write them, but she's only 4 and just learning. My teacher sister tells me that that is normal until about the age of 9 and I should not give her a hard time about it - which I was never doing anyway - because correcting her too much might spoil her interest and make her stop wanting to learn. Someone else also suggested to me that the mirror image thing might happen with her because she is left handed. At any rate, she's writing and enjoying it very much.

There must be more I haven't written about, but I can only think of one more thing to tell right now: Today The Bug started calling me "Mommy" instead of "Mama." I remember being kind of sad when Sweet Pea made the switch, but it doesn't bother me this time. It's just so adorably cute how she says it that it makes me all melty - especially since she often says it while she's giving me big hugs and wanting me to hold her. Awwwww. :o)

Monday, September 03, 2007

Our Art Escapade

The Saturday before school began I took Sweet Pea to our local paint-your-own pottery studio, where she painted cat figurines for me and Slipshod, and I painted a butterfly-shaped trinket box for her. It took a full week for the place to finish with the firing and all, but we finally picked them up yesterday. Here they are, in their finished glory:

Sweet Pea is so into cats that she has books (given by her grandparents and others) that tell her more than she could sit still to learn right now, even about different breeds and how to show a cat at a cat show. Therefore, she has breed names running around in her head. She calls the big kitty figurine (above) on the left a "Russian Blue" - with polka dots, of course. ha ha! She painted that one for me. The other big one is a "Russian Green," and will be going to work with Slipshod to adorn his desk. She told me that she painted the teeny tiny kitty for The Bug, but I told her that The Bug can't play with it because it's small enough for The Bug to choke on. So that's what she's keeping in her butterfly trinket box. hee!

While we were at the studio painting the pottery Sweet Pea made lots of cute little comments about how it was nice that just she and I could get out, that she loves me (several times), and that she really likes doing fun things together, etc. It was nice just to be able to hang out with her alone. She also told me that she was adding "artist" to the list of things she wants to be when she grows up. The rest of the list (I feel like I have already posted this once or twice) is as follows: A cat sitter, a mom, and a basketball player. ha ha!
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