Wednesday, April 22, 2009


If you've been reading here for long, you know about Katy's bizarre fears and all the drama that has presented to us over the past year and a half. Her most severe anxiety is related to strangers, especially if they a) are men, b) are different looking (in her mind), c) surprise her (i.e. enter a room unexpectedly), or d) touch her (like if she falls and they try to help her up).

I was just thinking last week about how much progress she has made. We haven't had a meltdown in a few months, and she has been able to talk herself out of most "scary" situations. All of this I've attributed to her newest level of maturity. We haven't needed to hesitate to go anywhere, and she's been comfortable even with people who come to the house.

Until yesterday. I was taking the trash out after dinner and a group of students got out of their car as asked if they could see the place for summer rental. (We have 3 groups trying to get their stuff together, but still no one has signed) So I said sure, come to the front door and I'll let you in. So here they come, in the house with no warning, there were 3 of them, and one was a guy with big hair (seriously, this is the kind of thing that scares her). So Katy picked up this hard plastic ball, throws it at one of the girls, and climbs up into my arms and starts to bawl. I was shocked! She hasn't done that in so long! We had to go outside and calm down while they looked around inside the house. (not to mention how embarrassed I was that she pelted this girl!) But even still, she was able to talk herself through it, and she kept saying, "I want them to go bye-bye. I want those other girls to come over." (The last set of girls who came to look at the place were really playful with Katy and she loved them). So by the time the group left, she was able to say goodbye and be reasonable, which is progress.

So it's better, and I do see light at the end of the tunnel. If anything, I think that incident reminded me of how much progress we have made, because 6 months ago, that kind of thing was happening on a daily basis. We couldn't go out sometimes because of it. So progress is good. Katy has been really interested in playing "Dr. Mommy" lately ever since I cleaned a cut and put a band aid on it for her. So we've been talking and pretending about going to the doctor. My goal is that by the time we go for her well visit in June, it won't be a traumatic experience. That will be the ultimate test.


I was also thinking about a problem that I'm having with David lately, and I decided to check my archives and see if Katy ever did anything similar. And lo and behold, at the exact same age, there it was. Just substitute David's name for Katy, and that he weighs 23 pounds instead of 19. So there's another reason to blog - you can comfort yourself with your own archives.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More cousins...

Back in February, my cousin Abby added a new member to the family, Nathaneal Ethan. We went to see Abby and her family and their new house last weekend. Katy is always completely thrilled to play with the big brother Gabe, and David is now big enough to get in on the action. Abby and Stan also recently added 4 chickens to their clan, and Katy had a blast feeding them by hand.

All of this is to say that I have some pictures to show you.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Random updates

Blogging: Brian and I both do "side work" from home in the evenings/weekends. Lately there's been a LOT of it. Sometimes we are both clacking away on our laptops next to each other on the couch. I'm thankful for the extra work and money as we prepare to move, but it's making me somewhat sad. And I haven't been able to blog as much as I'd like.

Potty: Two steps forward, one step back. In some ways, we're making a lot of progress on the potty. We had an (inadvertant) dry outing earlier this week (totally forgot to put a diaper on her before we left), but we continue to have many accidents as home. At least she is sometimes telling me she has to go and then going to sit on it. Other times she stands up and proudly announces, "I hadda assident!"

Moving: Two weeks until closing. All is in order as far as moving forward with the sale. We think we might have even found summer renters (though they haven't signed on the dotted line just yet). I'm thinking about paint colors and trying to figure out if there's any possible way we can get new living room furniture for the new place.

(Almost) Toddler: Still no stepping yet, except while holding hands. But he decided to go ahead and throw fits like a toddler, if it's all the same to you. (see video below where I wouldn't let him have the camera) He eats more than Katy, I'm not even kidding. The other day, we got McDonald's for lunch and he ate an ENTIRE fruit and yogurt parfait and 3/4 of a cheeseburger. That's more than Katy has ever eaten from McDonald's.

Spring: Ok, it's 70, sunny, and it's late-April - do you think it's safe to put away the down parka now?

Facebook: I finally joined, and that stuff is crazy. I haven't even had time yet to go look at everyone's profiles and say hi, but it is so so great to be "in touch" with all these people with whom I haven't spoken in so long! And then also the people I see everyday - how funny! Do you guys link to your blog from your Facebook page?

Preschooler: Katy is one month away from turning 3, and she has really blossomed in the past month. She's just so mature compared to before. Not that she doesn't still have plenty of irritating behaviors, but I just can't believe how interesting it is to watch her grow. Here she is singing on her favorites, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Low Key Easter

For the past several years, Easter in our family has gotten somewhat brushed over. Two of the last three years I've had babies relatively close to Easter, so I think that was part of it. But this year we had no plans, and just spent a quiet weekend with the 4 of us. But of course, it's difficult for the 4 of us to keep quiet for long.

Making cookies earlier this week for an Easter party (don't be impressed, I bought the pre-made dough sheets)

This was not the first dress I intended for Katy to wear. I had picked a hand-me-down from her cousins that the 3 girls had worn to our wedding, but Katy said it was too tight. (It was not.) But not a battle worth fighting, and this dress is cute as well.

Oh my stars. Babies in vests. And you should see the plaid shorts that are supposed to go with it.

Serious pose. David has been having a hard time lately. He wants mommy to hold him. all. the. time. He got pretty upset in the nursery at church this week.

THAT'S more like it. We didn't want to put Katy in her class at church because she had not yet been 24 hours without a fever. So she came into "big church" with us. I was really impressed with how well she did - she was enthralled by the music, and then she diligently played with Dora stickers during the sermon. She made a few comments here and there, but not loudly enough to be bothersome (I hope).

The loot. This was a group effort. The bunny-ducks and sidewalk chalk were from Grandpa and Grandma Sue, I won the Barney DVD on PS Mom Reviews (thanks, Sarah!), the candy was leftover from David's birthday cake, and the board book we gave to Katy in her first Easter basket. We bought the new sippies and bibs, the umbrella, and the goggles. Huge hits.

Coloring eggs

Playing at the park (future math genius?)

Katy locates a hidden egg. I don't know if she got the holidays confused or if it was the basket, but she insisted on wearing her Red Riding Hood costume during the egg hunt.

Waaaay too many jelly beans...
I hope yours was enoyable as well! I also got to meet up with one of my closest friends who was visiting her family for Easter, which was awesome. And we got a nail in the van tire, so there was that. And we're in serious denial that we're less than 3 weeks away from closing on our new house. You would think we would have started packing by now. But you'd be wrong!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Here we go again...

Katy just woke up screaming...temp is 104.5. At least this explains a few things from the past 24 hours. But I really hope and pray that I can keep the worrying to a reasonable minimum this time.

I'm feeling pouty...should we just become hermits or what?

Monday, April 06, 2009

Worried sick...

Here the lesson I've learned this past week: you cannot will away the winter sickies. At the beginning of last week, after a week of wellness, I was thinking, "Ah, see? It's spring! We've made it! We've had every virus we can get for this year, so we're safe at this point - homefree!"

You can imagine what happened next. I've spent the past several days nauseous with worry about my David. Here's how the week played out:

Sunday: unusual diapers

Monday: got some shots at his well-visit

Tuesday: low grade fever, which I thought was due to the shots or possibly the 4 molars he seems to be cutting

Wednesday: felt a little warm, but not warm enough to worry about

Thursday: by the afternoon, he had a fever over 101. He was also pretty fussy, and I was starting to wonder if this was more than teething.

Friday afternoon: fever in the neighborhood of 102, and not controlled by ibuprofen. I put him to bed knowing his medicine would run out within a couple of hours. I left for the grocery store.

Friday night: as I got back from the store, David was waking up crying, and I went to give him some more medicine. I picked him up and panicked - I have never felt such a hot temperature. The thermometer read 104.8. Brian put the cold food in the fridge while I called the pediatrician to see if we needed to go to the urgent care. But he talked me down off the ledge and said to bring him into the office in the morning if he still had a fever.

Saturday morning: fever still 104. Took him into the peds' office. (do kids have this switch that brings their temp down 4 or 5 degrees when they set foot in a doctor's office or what?). They said he must have a virus, maybe like Roseola, that causes high fevers, which tend to spike at night. So I calmed down quite a bit.

Saturday afternoon: while cruising around, David fell and hit his head on the table. It was a fairly hard hit, hard enough to leave a bruise on his temple. Because of the recent media about silent head injuries (google "richardson saves life"), Brian and I spent the next two days watching him closely for anything unusual.

Sat. night: more fever, fussiness.

Sunday: finally no fever, but cranky and fussy as all get out. A couple of crying jags caused further worry.

Sunday night: I went in to check on him before I went to bed and thought he was breathing hard. Went to bed with a bunch of questions about asthma in my mind. Will he wake up crying if he's having breathing trouble? How will I know if he needs help? Between that and the bruise on his head, I was awake until 1:30, tossing and turning and just...worried sick.

Today: he's fine. No fever. No rash (guess it wasn't roseola). Bruise looks better. Breathing normally.

So where did all of that worrying get me? I'm in the same place today that I would have been had I not worried a bit. But no matter how rationally I understand that, I can't get past it. I spend a good bit of time imagining all the obstacles and barriers that could possibly stand between my kids and their own healthy adulthood. Is this normal or irrational fear? Am I destined to have these thoughts until they're 18? 30? 60?

Friday, April 03, 2009

So long, good friend

I haven't watched an episode of ER in 3 years. When Carter left and I was pregnant (and thus couldn't stay up that late), our relationship ended. But last night was the series finale. And for an hour before the show, they had a bunch of the old actors reminiscing and showing old scenes from the show. We watched it, and wow, it was like reconnecting with an old friend.

For 10 years, from 1995-2005, I think I missed 2 - that's TWO - episodes of ER. I don't typically get so entrenched in TV shows, but I was obsessed. I felt emotionally attached to the characters, and I was glued to the screen every Thursday evening for 60 minutes - (or at least had the VCR set, worst case scenario).

And I'm not a crier, especially not for TV and movies. But Holy COW, I have shed some serious tears watching this show. I will never forget how I bawled the time that Carter got stabbed and fell to the ground, only to see Lucy stabbed and lying on the floor across from him. While my friend Maureen and I watched the credits roll by in silent tears, the phone rang and our friend Cathy was crying on the other line. And I got chills every time I heard that song that was playing when it happened.

I remember really sincerely looking forward to watching the show every week, and I would be downright giddy while it was on. And people used to talk about it on Fridays, remember? Lots of people used to watch it, which was obviously why it was on so long. The show used to be in the Thursday line-up with Friends and Seinfeld - can you imagine?? Classic shows that have been long off the air, and ER, of all of them, went 15 years.

I was reminded last night, however, of one downfall of watching the show. On the finale, a woman was in a car accident while driving herself to the hospital to give birth to twins, her 4th and 5th children. Of course, in true ER form, she bleeds out all over the place and ends up dying in the OR, leaving her husband with these 5 small children to care for. That kind of thing will keep me up for several nights, and will stick in my memory for a long time. I think that ER has actually played a detrimental role in the management of my anxiety over the years. Various scenes and lines from the show about all the potential trauma that could happen to someone will play out in my mind on a regular basis. Especially when I'm pregnant or giving birth. I can probably drum up 10 different birth-related traumas from various episodes of that show. Oh, have mercy, why does my mind resonate on these things for so long?

And the characters - such classics! I was truly sad when they killed off Dr. Romano. He was the biggest Jerk to ever walk the planet, but boy, was he entertaining. And Dr. Greene, who didn't love him? Elizabeth, Dr. Benton, Carrie, Doug. I know this sounds pitiful, but I felt like I knew these people!

So I just thought it was appropriate to pay a little homage to this show that so strongly affected me. Thanks for years of great entertainment, so long!