Thursday, May 31, 2007

Movie review - as if I know

This is very unusual, but lately we've seen a lot of movies. This is largely due to 2 factors: Brian's surgery and the discovery of the DVD kiosk at Kroger. At the risk of sounding like a really dorky advertisement for this kiosk thing, it is really great. Ours lets you rent new releases for $1 per day. That means if you rent something on Wednesday afternoon, as long at you return it by midnight on Thursday, it's only a buck. Goodbye Blockbuster! Hello kiosk! The only problem we've had so far is that a one of the DVD's kept skipping, but we cleaned it off and it was fine after that. In addition to the cheap-o rentals, last night Brian and I had our first date night in quite a while and we went to see Spiderman 3. At the theatre. The last movie I remember seeing in the theatre was I think about a year ago. In fact, last night we used a gift card that Brian got for his birthday in November.

So maybe it's been a while since I've seen very many movies, but I've noticed a few things that I thought I'd mention and see if anyone else thought these were strange:
  • Ok, what's with the length of movies lately? Seriously, does every movie need to be 2 hours and 45 minutes, or is this really trendy? And who has this kind of time to commit to a movie? Forget dinner, if you want to get to bed before midnight, you better just start the movie.
  • And does every movie need to be a trilogy? Or I guess it's just every movie that makes any money. Back in 2001 when you saw Shrek, were you thinking, man, only 6 more years until we get to see the 3rd? Don't get me wrong, I love Shrek as much as the next guy, but with Shrek, Spidey, Pirates, Bourne, Oceans, Rush Hour, and 28 days all coming out with their 3rd editions this summer, need I go on?
  • Also, what's up with the complicated plots lately? Watching several of the movies we rented, we found ourselves confused and overwhelemd, which is not what I typically find enjoyable while I'm watching a movie.

So in case you're curious as to which movies we saw and what we thought of them (I'm sure you're dying to know), here you go:

  • Pursuit of Happyness: like Kelsey said, mostly pursuit, not much happiness, but it was definitely worth watching. Sad and inspirational.
  • The Prestige: Excellent. A little hard to follow, but really really interesting plot, keeps you on your toes until the last second. We watched it with subtitles for some reason, which helped us with the accents.
  • Eragon: Brian watched this one while I was at work. He said it wasn't very good, it's a really serious sci-fi if you're into that.
  • The Good Shepherd: Terrible. Well, ok, to be fair, it's probably really good if you are a history buff and really interested in the CIA's involvement in WWII. Brian and I were so lost that we turned it off after and hour and a half (which was only halfway through - see note on long movies above) and just returned it.
  • Pirates 2: See notes above on long movies and complicated plots. I was confused and not that interested, and it was way, way, way, way.........waaaaaaay too long. It made me have no interest in seeing the 3rd one. Melanie did, and she said it was longer and more complicated. I think they should've stopped after the 1st, that was a really good movie.
  • Spiderman 3: of all the movies we saw, this was the best. Of course, it's the only one we saw in the theatre, which makes a difference, but I really liked it. Interesting characters, really good special effects, relationship drama, etc. We thought it was at least as good as the first 2 if not better. I heard there may be a 4th...

So there you have it, not that I know what I'm talking about, but just thought I'd share. Anyone seen any other good flicks lately?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Family Outing

With Brian feeling up to getting out of the house after a long week on the couch, we decided to try out our zoo legs. What's nice about having a membership is that you can go for a couple of hours, not feel like you have to see the whole thing in one day, and enjoy your time there. So enjoy it, we did. And so did Katy, I think. She stayed in the stroller for a really long time and would point at all the animals, which reassured me that she recognized that they were what we came to see. The zoo was crowded and the weather was hot, but we were really impressed with some of the animals we got to see. They have the largest snake in captivity (24 feet long, shudder), and we happened upon a genuine wrestling match between 2 grizzly bears. Of course, Katy liked the petting zoo best.

In addition, I wanted to share some pictures of Katy-happiness. She loves straws and always wants to drink out of our cups when we have a straw. So today I got her her very own sippy cup with a straw. When I gave it to her, she literally did laps around the house while she carried it, giggling between happy sips of water. When I took it from her to refill it, she followed me to the sink and whined until I gave it back. Who knew...

New roomie and new skills

I don't know if I mentioned this before, but my sister Melanie is moving in with us for the summer. She has a break between leases from June 1 - Sept 1, so she decided to save some money and stay in our guest room. She moved in this weekend, so we officially have a new roomie. I'm not sure it's going to be that much different than before for a couple of reasons. First of all, she only lived a couple doors down before, and it would be a rare occasion for us to not see her at all on any given day. (We always tease her that she's like the sister Jackie on that old sitcom Roseanne. She's the single sister who just walks in without knocking, grabs a snack, argues with Dan and leaves. That's pretty much Melanie's role in our house). The second reason is that she's not only working full time at a day care this summer, but she's also participating in an evening program with her church called the Nehimiah Project. So she really won't be around much except to sleep, shower, and eat.
This entire school year, Melanie has watched Katy on Tuesday afternoons while I am at work, which has led to the two of them being pretty good buds. There's only a handful of people who get as big of a smile from Katy as Aunt Mel. So I know Katy will be excited to have her in the next room all summer. Aunt Mel is also excited to be around because Katy is in such a sweet and hilarious stage right now. Even in the last week she has started doing some pretty funny and (I think) intelligent things:
-When I pick up my diaper bag or say it's time to go "bye-bye," she waves and says "Dah" and walks toward the door with great persistence. If you don't immediately follow her and open the door, she pulls on it and whines (she really likes to go out).
-The other day we were getting ready to go somewhere and I said, "First you need to put your shoes on," and she walked over and picked up her shoes! I couldn't believe it!
-She "talks" non-stop in this strange language that I wish I understood. It cracks me up how she looks at you and talks and then stops and waits for your responses as if you are having a conversation.
-Katy loves to help me unload the dishwasher, but it got to the point where she would cry when I closed it. In order to prevent this upsetting ritual, I started asking her to help me close it while saying "bye bye, dishwasher!", which really seemed to work. Well, now look what she tries to do the entire time I'm attempting to put the dishes away:

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Appreciating my husband

You never really know how much someone does until they don't/can't do it. Of course, I have always been aware that my husband does a lot of things - he remodeled our kitchen in his spare time for heaven's sake - but still, it's the little things that you don't think about. Like right now, because of Brian's shoulder, he can't pick Katy up or even rush over to save her from something dangerous that she might get into, like pulling a hot cup of coffee off a table or opening the trash can to retrieve some previously discarded food. So I can't leave her with him even for a minute. So everytime I have to run upstairs to use the restroom or run to the store to get some milk - Katy comes with me. Which is completely fine, of course, but just slows me down a bit. And I didn't fully appreciate before how nice it is to have a chance for a bathroom break.

This evening I got to appreciate not only how Brian helps me with my responsibilities, but also the responsibilities that he carries without my assistance. I came home from running an errand and Brian informed me, "Honey, we have a problem under the kitchen sink." You should've seen my face: I knew exactly what that meant. Ever since Brian remodeled the kitchen, we've been having some problems with leakage in the plumbing under the sink. Tonight I walked in to the kitchen and found exactly what I expected: a soaked floor mat in front of the sink, a bucket overflowing with dirty water under the pipes, and lots of soggy cleaning products. I asked Brian, "What should we do?" to which he replied, "I'll just have to walk you through how to fix it." Ugh, gross.

So Brian may have chuckled a little as I put on my rubber dish gloves (he usually does it bare handed - nasty!), but I fixed the leaky pipe! And on the first try, which is apparently impressive. I won't say that I was completely pleasant and excited about this endeavor - I grumbled a little bit, but it wasn't as bad as I thought. That's what I discovered about plumbing: it isn't that complicated, just really really messy.

Needless to say, I'm appreciating more and more everyday what my husband does for our family. Props to single moms, too, because gosh, I don't know how you do it.

12 Month Stats

Katy had her 12 month well visit yesterday, which went well. It was interesting to see how clingy she was once the doctor walked into the room, because she has started to recognize that he does things to her that aren't comfortable (like stick something in her ears and mouth). But I really like our pediatrician. He is very reassuring and knowledgeable and witty. Ha! I told him how Katy had gotten sick after her party, and he said that this is actually a recognized trend, that babies tend to get sick on their first birthday, and that his daughter vomited in the middle of the birthday song some 30 years ago.

Anyway... the stats:

Weight: 18 pounds, 13 ounces - 20th percentile
Height: 28 inches - 20th percentile

So our little peanut continues to be a little peanut for now. Overall the doctor said she is doing well... we've got a few things to work toward, like real milk in a cup and forward facing in the car seat. Welcome to year #2!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Post-Op Report

I wanted to let everyone know that Brian's surgery went well. We now have some kind of explanation for why Brian can't remember how he injured his shoulder: the rotator cuff tear was being caused by a bone spur and arthritis on the collar bone that was rubbing against the tendon (ouch). The doc says he "cleaned it up" (whatever that means) and that it should be much better after recovery. After reporting to the hospital at the ungodly hour of 5 am (I mean really, to be somewhere at 5 essentially means that you have to get up in the middle of the night, don't you think?), he was out of surgery by 8:30 and home by 11:15. The next few days will be a cycle of pain meds, ice, exercises, and repositioning. But overall Brian is in good spirits and starting to feel a little more "with it".

My Dad and Sue have to come to help for a few days which is a Godsend. Keeping both Brian and Katy fed, medicated and rested will be my focus for the next few days. Yesterday Katy battled her fever all day and didn't have much of an appetite, but today she woke up without a fever and has been doing better. I think she's on the mend, which will help a lot. She goes for her 12 month well visit on Wednesday, so I'll have new stats to report!

So keep us in your prayers this week and I will keep you updated. I think this is the end of the April/May marathon of activity for us. It has been a busy 2 months, and I hope my posts don't seem boring in comparison for the rest of the summer. :)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Bittersweet Birthday

Kathryn Faith, 5 days old
This is the story of Katy's first birthday. There were a few things that maybe didn't go exactly as I was picturing it, but there are many things for which I am thankful. And all in all, we had a really nice day celebrating the first year of Katy's life.

We had Katy's first birthday party at a park in a nearby suburb. We had rented a shelter house in the park in hopes for an outdoor playful party. For weeks now, I have been concerned about 3 things that I thought could put a strong damper on the day: rain, somehow not being able to get into the shelter house, or Katy getting sick.

All week, the weather forecast for today has been consistently 73 and sunny. Even this morning I checked it, and assured me that the clouds would clear and the weather would be nice and pretty. Well, I have a great deal of faith in and respect for the meteorologists, but this is one of those cases where they missed the mark. At the start of the party it was mostly cloudy, sprinkling, and somewhat chilly. Hmmm...not the sunshine I was hoping for, but oh, well, moving on. At least the park wasn't crowded.

I had picked up a key from the city to get into the enclosed shelter house. I even joked with my sister that I might drive over there and check the key ahead of time, to which she rolled her eyes at my paranoia. As I arrived early to decorate for the party, I tried the key in the different garage doors around the sides of the Just short of having a coniption, I found one that happened to be left unlocked. Tragedy averted, let's get this party started. (Later my dad figured out that the key was for a side door that I hadn't tried)

Finally the birthday girl arrived, looking cute as ever (Brian brought her after her nap). At first she seemed a little overwhelmed "Who are all these people? Where am I? Why is everyone talking to me?", but after the initial "spazzing," eventually she warmed up. We enjoyed the food that my family all helped to prepare, and the kids were able to play on the playground. Then I was able to get Katy interested in opening some presents. She got so many fun things, including some clothes, toys, and money for her college fund.

Now for the best part: the cake! We ordered the large birthday cake with a baby photo of Katy from when she was a few days old, we thought it turned out really nicely.

We set Katy up in her booster seat with the candle in her smash cake (you get one for free when you buy a 1st birthday cake at Giant Eagle). The look on her face while we all sang Happy Birthday was priceless!! She just looked so confused, "what in the world..." And then afterward, "why are they all staring at me? what am I supposed to be doing?" But then we let her taste some of the cake and she was on board. She seemed to enjoy messing it with her hands more than eating it, however. She really didn't do the traditional "smear-icing-all-over-my-face" thing. Hmmm...didn't want to get dirty or just isn't that hungry? Who knows. I think she fed more to Brian than she ate herself...

So everyone seemed to have a really nice time, and I enjoyed seeing a lot of friends and family that I don't get to see very often. We cleaned up the party as the sun finally came out.

Finally we got home and unload the car, when Katy started getting pretty fussy. Brian and I looked at each other: time for a bottle, she hasn't had one since before the party. So Katy sucked down a bottle and I thought "Let's go look at some of your new toys before bed". But quickly I realized that something was wrong. You know how there's a fussy cry and then there's a cry that tells you something's wrong? Katy quickly escalated to the painful and uncomfortable cry in which she could not be consoled. I took her temperature (she had already had ibubrofen for teething): 101.5. Oh, man. I can't believe it, I mean really! Literally JUST as we walked in the door from the party, she comes down sick! But at least she waited until we got home from the party. That also may have been why she wasn't a little bit happier at the party. Bummer! So now of course, I'm all worried about her. I got her to be comfortable enough to go to sleep, and she's still sleeping now. But tomorrow's Sunday (no doctor's office), and Brian's having surgery at 7am on Monday morning. I am praying that this little bug takes care of itself and that Katy can get back to her little happy self quickly. I'm sure that in the future this will make her first birthday even more memorable... Happy Birthday sweetheart.

Friday, May 18, 2007

A mom moment

So I was just putting Katy to bed a few minutes ago, and it hit me. Oh. my. gosh. Tomorrow is your birthday. The next time I see you, you will be one. It's been a whole year that you've graced my life with your sweet little presence. And man, I couldn't love you more, I don't think. I've been so wrapped up in planning your party (which should be great), getting your picture taken (which should be cute), and taking you to your well visit (which hopefully won't be scary) that I have completely missed the point until now.

I can barely even remember those first few weeks last summer. You slept in the bassinet at the foot of our bed and I felt like I did nothing but nurse you and sleep in small intervals. It's all so very blurry, especially the list of things to calm you when you were fussy (the vaccuum cleaner, when all else failed). And now you crawl into my lap to read a book or snuggle up against my cheek with your thumb in your mouth when you get tired. And how did you get so smart? You walk toward the door when I swing the diaper bag over my shoulder, and you try to put mommy's sunglasses on your head, like I wear them. You're my little Katy-girl and you're 1 year old. Now go to sleep (I can still hear you up there), because there's a big ol' party tomorrow in your honor.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Movement update

It occurred to me that I think the last video I posted showed Katy taking 2 or 3 timid steps, and only when motivated by a dog. She has become a pro at walking so gradually that I don't think I stopped to make note: she's really walking now! All over the place, getting into everything. So here's a little video so you can see her new moves. It also includes a shot of the rearrangement of our dining room in order to accomodate the enormous gate we had to purchase to keep her from seriously injuring herself on the stairs. And did I mention my own sanity?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

We had a really nice day today as a family celebrating Mother's Day. My first Mother's Day treat was that Brian got up with Katy and let me sleep until 9:00. NINE, it was spectacular. We were able to go to church (which we've missed a lot lately due to traveling. Did I mention that I have traveled the same 1.5 hour stretch of highway the last FIVE weekends in a row?), and Katy graduated from the nursery to the toddler room (aka "Big Girl room"). They said she did great, so she must've enjoyed the older kids. And the pastor's wife gave a really good message, I had not heard her speak before.

We came home and I got to open my Mother's Day gift: a membership to the zoo! I'm sure Katy and I will enjoy spending a lot of time there this summer. (And it includes a guest so if you'd like to go with us sometime...)

It was a gorgeous day so we spent the rest of the afternoon outside, including going over to see our friends Pam, Craig, and Jack. The 6 week age difference between Katy and Jack keeps getting smaller and smaller. They are becoming pals very quickly (when Katy isn't distracted by their dog).

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A glimpse into the future

Today a friend of mine (and fellow blogger), Kelsey, came to visit from another part of Ohio, bringing her two and a half year old daughter Harper. Kelsey and I hadn't seen each other for several years (gosh, maybe it's been 5 or 6?), but we've reconnected recently largely because of becoming moms and blogging. Kelsey is a really talented writer and I really enjoy reading her blog entries, and you really get to know someone when you get to read all these stories of what happens in their daily life!

So anyway, Kelsey and I had a nice time catching up, and we found ourselves talking about the many differences between a 12 month old and a 30 month old. It doesn't seem like they'd be that far apart in age, but really there's a world of difference. And I got a chance to get a glimpse into what life will be like for me in about 18 months. The joys and challenges are still there, just in varying formats. Like when Harper was walking on a balance beam and Kelsey asked what she was doing, she stated matter-of-factly, "I'm balancing!" Duh, mom... But then the frustration when Harper was trying to describe exactly how she wanted Kelsey to push the swing, "no, not that way, on the top, from the back!"

What's neat is that Kelsey doesn't live far from my dad, so now that the girls are old enough to enjoy each other's company, we can get together now and then fairly easily.


This weekend will be my first official Mother's Day. Last year I was "great with child" (as Mary was described on the first Christmas) on Mother's Day, and I was actually having contractions that weekend, although Katy wasn't born until the following Friday. But it's hard to really comprehend being a mom until you've seen your child, so I didn't really celebrate Mother's Day in the traditional sense. (although I must acknowlege that Brian gave me a gift - and a nice one at that) So this year, since it's all official, my own Mom gave me a Mother's Day gift (don't worry, I have one to give back to her). Are you ready? Here it is:

Yes, that's my daughter's face. On an apron. What more could a mother ask for?

Monday, May 07, 2007

He did it!!!

Yes, apparently pigs CAN fly, and Brian completed the flying pig marathon yesterday, his first (and only?) 26.2 mile race. There's just something very emotional about marathons: it's the people of all ages and backgrounds who come out to give it a try, the thousands of friends and family members who come out to support them, and the way an entire city bends over backwards to allow the runners to safely complete the 26.2. I've watched a few marathons before, even participated in one on a relay team before (don't be impressed, my leg was only 5K), but this one was especially neat to see, having watched Brian complete all that training for so many months, and having a little more of an idea what it takes, and how badly it hurts, to do it. So I was a little choked up seeing Brian and JT approaching the finish line, 5 hours after they started, still running and giving it all they had. (you can look up official results here)

Several people kept telling Brian: "what? you're doing cincinnati? oh my gosh, it's SO hilly." But he kept telling himself it wouldn't be that bad, maybe just to keep his spirits up. But afterwards he admits, it was awfully hilly, especially compared to the very flat grounds on which they trained. And of course, he reports hitting that infamous "wall" around 20 miles, in which you really feel that there isn't any way you could possibly continue, but you must, because you've come this far. But they did it, they conquered, and then they had birthday cake.

It was our neice Carrie's 3rd birthday yesterday, so after a morning of cheering on Uncle Brian (complete with signage), we joined friends and family to wish her a happy 3rd. Brian and JT sat back and we brought them burgers however they liked them.

So today Brian's sore, but managed to go into work for a bit. I know he'd appreciate your congratulations the next time you see him. I'm really proud of him for this tremendous accomplishment.


On a scary and tragic note, apparently one of the runners of the half-marathon died at the finish line. There isn't much information about it yet, but gosh, how sad.


Unrelated funny Katy story:

Recently she's been playing with magnets on the fridge. The only kind she's strong enough to take off are those really flimsy ones that you get for free with emergency numbers on them or whatever. So she takes them off and puts them back on, and I thought it was hilarious when she started trying to put them on other surfaces, such as the cabinets and the wall, looking confused when she let go and they fell to the floor. So this morning she's doing this, and she looks thrilled to discover that the magnets do indeed stick to the stove! How exciting! So she decides to try another surface, and brings a magnet over to me and holds it up to my leg, looking disappointed when it didn't stick. I laughed and thought: that's one of those difficult life lessons to learn. Mommy can do a lot of things, but she's not magnetic.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Do you think we have a climber?

Not pictured: Katy's head hitting the hard wood floor and the 5 minutes of consoling that followed.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Big Month for Daddy, too

So I know this blog is called "Katydid" and that 90-some% of the posting is about that little cutie-pie, but there are a couple of big things coming up for my husband. You know him. Brian? Broad shoulders? Shaved head?

The first big thing is that this Sunday he will be participating in his first marathon: the Flying Pig in Cincinnati. He and his faithful friend J.T. have been training since January, religiously or relentlessly, depending on your perspective. He has gone through a lot of pain, fatigue, mental and emotional struggles, and I'm really proud of him that he is officially ready for the big event. Even when we were on vacation last week, he stuck to his training schedule, going out for a "short" 2 hour run within a few minutes of arriving at the condo (after all that driving and unpacking). So if you're insane enough to be awake at 6:30 this Sunday morning, think about Brian and J.T., pushing off the starting blocks. Think of them again shortly before lunchtime, when they'll be breaking the tape.

On the other hand, some of you know that Brian has been dealing with a bum shoulder for well over 2 years now. He has no idea how he acquired the original injury (moving furniture or something), but tests show that he has a torn rotater cuff. He's tried physical therapy, cortizone shots, and even had surgery scheduled for January of 2006, but cancelled at the last minute because he was feeling better. Well, he's finally decided to bite the bullet and have that surgery, realizing that nothing else has helped, and he's way too young to deal with this pain for the rest of his life. (plus he'd like to be able to lift Katy over his head) So today he scheduled surgery again, this time for May 21st (3 weeks from today!). It depends how it goes, but he will be out of work some, not able to drive for a while, and will expect about a 6 month period before full recovery. So anyway, May will be a significant month for our family, we'd appreciate your prayers! Especially for my wonderful husband, who does so much for us. I'm looking forward to posting the progress...