Monday, August 31, 2009

Better start saving up...

After looking at one of our wedding pictures, Katy and I had this conversation:

K: Mommy, why did you have curly hair when you were old?

M: You mean when I got married? I fixed my hair to be curly because it was a special day. That's why I was wearing a fancy dress.

K: What is that you're sitting in?

M: A horse carriage. Mommy and Daddy rode in a horse carriage after we got married.

K: I want to ride in a helicopter when I get married!!

Then we were at a garage sale and she picked up a play tiara with a veil and started proclaiming that she was getting married. I dropped 50 cents so she could take the veil home with her, and then asked if she wanted to watch the video where Mommy and Daddy get married. She got wide eyed and said YES.

It didn't occur to me that this would be very entertaining for her to watch, because she knows a lot of the people who are in the video, and how funny! To see people that you know on TV! In fancy clothes, dancing, and eating cake! Every time she wakes up now, she asks, "Can I watch the video where Mommy and Daddy get married?!?!"

I have to admit, I like this video run better than...say...Wiggles or Barney. I find myself sitting down with her for parts of it, feeling sentimental about how amazing the whole thing is, that all of those people who we love so much came together that day, to celebrate the beginning of our new family. And it was a good time, at least I thought so.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Nosy vs. Interested

Please forgive me while I go a little introspective on you.

Ever since we moved, I've been thinking about neighbor relationships, wondering and noticing how people interact with their neighbors in various locations. As we traveled around to visit our family this summer, I noticed how the neighbors in their area interacted, and even asked them about it. Part of the reason is that meeting all of our new neighbors this summer has been a little different than I expected. It's been good, and we've met some really great and interesting people. But I've noticed that some people just aren't interested in having any relaionship with their neighbors. Then a friend of mine, who has a really busy schedule, mentioned that she sometimes avoids interacting with her neighbors, just because she doesn't have time. That got me thinking: that perhaps some people, who are still kind and friendly people, just aren't interested in being neighborly for whatever reason. (What are you like with your neighbors, btw?)

Brian and I sit in the other camp, where we really like to be friendly with the people around us. I enjoy having people close by so we can chat and do favors for one another. Ask for a cup of sugar, that kind of thing.

In fact, I've realized, I'm just interested in people in general. I love meeting a new person and going through all the usual questions: what do you do? where does your family live? how did you decide to move here? how did you meet your husband? etc, etc. I find it fascinating to talk to people about their lives, what their experience has been so far, why they've made the decisions that they have made, and what do they hope for the future. I even like reading those little magazine articles which spotlight a person's life in 5 paragraphs, like, "Meet Jen! And read how she lost 90 pounds!" Love that stuff. I want to know all about Jen.

So does this make me nosy?

I looked up the definition of nosy. It said:

nosy: unduly curious about the affairs of others; prying; meddlesome.

I am curious, sincerely so. But I don't pry. I think I can tell when someone doesn't want to share something and I quickly back off. And meddling? I don't think I'm a meddler, at least I hope not.

Also, in return for sharing, I'm an open book. There really aren't very many questions that you could ask me that I wouldn't answer. I just like to share, as much as I like you to share with me. That's why blogging fits me well. I like to put it out there, then if you are interested, you can read it, and if not, no big deal. And I like to read your blog, too, if you have one.

So maybe I'm just a talker. Even an extrovert? No, I can't go that far. I hope I'm not nosy, please let me know if you think that I am. Otherwise I think I'll call it "interested" and leave it at that.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Unusual, except for the sick part...

Our week has been defined by a fever of Katy's. It started out on Sunday, and has been high and consistent ever since. I took her to the doctor today and they didn't find anything. But here's the weird part: it's been a pretty good week.

Of course I feel terribly that Katy feels bad and I'm hoping every hour that it's over, but other parts have been ok. If I had to schedule this illness, I would've picked this week. The summer busyness is over, but we haven't started our fall schedule yet. We had nothing - Sweet Nothing - planned for this week, so we've just stayed home.

Katy's been tired and cuddly. She's fallen asleep in my arms several times, something that's unheard of when she's well. I've been feeling less guilty about letting her watch Noggin and eat crackers for lunch. I'm just enjoying the chance to chill with her and David at home, snuggling with my girl who usually doesn't snuggle.

Yesterday she called for me after nap and asked me to "come and sleep with her for a little bit." So I laid down in her bed with her and she promptly fell back asleep. And I just laid there and watched her sleep, noticing that her Blankie needs to be washed and that her cheeks are especially chubby up close. It only lasted for a few minutes before I needed to go get David, but it was sweet.

David, so far, has been spared on this one. He's just been running around, chunky and happy and cute as he can be. He's at a stage where he gets lots of compliments when we are out. He's just so cute. He's so active, I find it hard to keep him from hurting himself. He climbs on everything and tries to do things he can't safely do, and I can't take me eyes off of him for one second. I'm worried that he'll fall and hurt himself again, with more than a wrist fracture this time.

So I'm praying that this fever breaks and leaves our house until our next turn. But it hasn't been so bad, this week.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Love these guys...

For the 2nd year in a row, our generous friends Kate and Dave hosted our life group at their family's lake house. It was such a relaxing time boating, playing games, and marveling at the kiddos. Next year's photo will include (at least) two more babies. Keep 'em coming!

Friday, August 21, 2009

It's silly, I know...

I really like the girl who has cut my hair the past few times. She's young and sweet and there's just something about her that I like and trust. She always seems really interested in the kids and has offered several times to babysit. It sincerely seems like she wants to. She used to nanny for a family with, get this: SIX children under EIGHT. Which, on paper, makes her more qualified to watch my kids than I am.

So I called her and asked her to watch David for me while I take Katy to meet her preschool teacher and see her classroom. Here's the silly part: it has occurred to me that I'm going to feel self-concious about my hair that morning. I mean, of course it never looks nearly as good as when they style it. And when you go back in for another haircut, it's like you're admitting: "Hey, I know this looks bad. That's why I'm here. Help me out, give me a cut." But when you see your hairdresser in between haircuts, you have no excuse. Supposedly I am satisfied with the way my hair looks today, because I'm not back at the salon, getting a new one. And I can tell you right now that on that Thursday morning at 9am, it's not even going to resemble the way she left it a few weeks ago.

And of course I hope she's good with the kids, too.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Scattered thoughts

Hello! I was just noticing that my average time between posts has been stretching longer and longer and longer...

But literally everyday, almost throughout the day, I am thinking of things I could post about. Would write about if I had time. So a brief synopsis of what I can remember will do.

  • We went to my mom's house last weekend and had a really good time. We went to an amazing pool/"waterpark" and I didn't take a single picture or video the whole time. It was relaxing, in a way, just to decide not to capture it on file.
  • Remember how I've been talking a lot lately about how overwhelmed I've been feeling? Well, things have been better the past couple of weeks. I don't know if the kids have changed or life has calmed down or it's my attitude. But I'm feeling more under control. It's a big relief.
  • Part of what may play into that is that potty training has been going well for the past 3 weeks. I think we may be over the hump into the term potty trained. I'm sure we'll still have accidents, but we're chugging along as if the potty is the norm these days. Finally.
  • This fall feels really significant to me. This is the first year of parenthood that I am so very aware that summer is ending and the school year is beginning. Not only will Katy be starting preschool, but there are several other parts of our weekly routine that will change. It will be a different mode. A school mode. And every year from here on out will feel this way. It's very strange. But I'm really excited about it.
  • I got David's haircut again yesterday. I just love little boys with fresh haircuts. So cute, I can't stop nuzzling him.
  • I made a really silly mistake the other day and attempted to let Katy paint while David was awake. It was a total disaster and I decided that I will not try again until he's 2. (or when he's asleep, of course) I was finding paint on the walls of different rooms the following day.
  • I can't remember if I've mentioned this before, but it should be recorded somewhere. Two things Katy is obsessed with: wearing dresses and the color green. I have to do some serious coercing if I want her to wear shorts or capris for some reason, so I'm on the lookout for cheap tights this winter. Also, she points out green wherever we go. "Look, Mommy! That sign is GREEN! My favorite color!" "Oh, Mommy, look! That boy is wearing a green shirt! My favorite color! Just like Steve!!" (Blue's Clues)
  • I have songs from the Fresh Beat Band in my head all day.
  • I am now receiving two copies of Family Fun magazine, and if I combined the 2 subscriptions, I'll be paid up until 2016. And I've never sent them a dime.

David and Katy have really had some interesting one-sided conversations lately:

  • I was refilling the box of diapers in the family room, and David was getting into them. Katy said, "Yes, David, those are your diapers. But you can't wear them until you poop."
  • David was crying in the car seat on a trip home from somewhere, and Katy was attempting to scream back at him, "STOP! CRYING! DAVID!!!! I! CAN'T! HEAR! THE! WIGGLES!!!!"
  • David wants to do whatever Katy is doing all the time. Once she was doing her alphabet puzzle and he was attempting to push the pieces into the spots, but of course they're always wrong. Katy scolded him, "No, David! That's not a K! Don't you know your letters?!"
  • At my mom's house they were having a dispute about sidewalk chalk. David's screaming apparently didn't express the appropriate level of frustration, so he reached over and pulled her pigtail: HARD. He was MAD. I had visions of all the fights I'm destined to break up in the coming years. Yikes.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Story of Blankie

I feel the need to take a long pause and condsider the fifth member of our household: Blankie.

Without fail, if you ask Katy who her best friend is, she will answer, "Blankie." If she is in one of her three-year-old moods and doesn't want to meet so and so at the park, she will say, "I don't like her, I only like Blankie. She's my only friend."

Katy and Blankie, Easter 2008

Whenever we travel anywhere to stay overnight, of course we have to take Blankie. There is a small part of my mind that is worried about her whereabouts during the entire trip. When we get in the car to return home, I always, without fail, do a Blankie check. Because if we left her, no matter how far we had traveled, we would have to turn around and go back.

Blankie makes a cameo in Katy's 3 month portrait. Little did I know...

The only other time Blankie leaves the house is to go to the pediatrician. I am willing to do anything to make those visits more pleasant.

Katy and Blankie after first haircut, age 20 months

If Katy is holding Blankie, she has her in her right hand, sucking her thumb so Blankie is under her nose, twirling her hair with her left hand. If we are about the leave the house and she has to part with Blankie, she'll say, "Wait, one more smell..." and take a whiff as an addict would take a hit, closing her eyes to appreciate it fully.

Katy and Blankie, around Katy's 2nd birthday

At one point, the rule was that Blankie stayed upstairs, in her crib. She kept pushing the limits on that one, until Blankie's home during waking hours was on the bottom step, so that at least she was within vision so Katy could play with comfort. Finally, I gave in and let her drag it all over the house, which is why we are in the situation we are in today (see below).

Blankie was orginally a gift from my friend Cindy (the bride from this weekend's party). In the card she said something like, "I hope Katy appreciates a blanket like Mel and I did." Cindy used to tease me that I didn't understand having a blanket. But my sister did.

Video evidence that Blankie's been around a while

When I started trying to put blankets in her crib as comfort items, she was less than one year old. I was still a little nervous about SIDS, so I rotated between a few different blankets, all of which had breathing holes. If I had it to do over again, I would've picked the ones that would've stood the test of time without unraveling. Oops.

This one didn't make the cut, but was in the running (Katy, 8 months)

When Katy made her selection (and it was clear the one she preferred), I went back to Babies R' Us where it was purchased to buy another one. I wanted a backup to rotate for washing, and heaven forbid, in case we ever lost it. But unfortunately, they had stopped making Blankie. I looked everywhere on eBay and other online stores, to no avail. I picked the closest looking and feeling blanket she owned, and started putting that one in the crib, too. She now calls that one Other Blankie. It stays in her bed and she doesn't care much whether it's there or not.

Other Blankie, comforting a newborn Katy

I have to admit that I love Blankie, too. Blankie makes it easier to comb Katy's hair. Blankie helps soothe her tears when she's sick or tired or on long car rides. Blankie is like an extension of me, and she can be there when I'm not, or even just help me out when I am.

Just a few weeks ago, at her cousins' house

So here's the problem: Blankie is not holding up well, physically. (Ironic, isn't it, since she's the one who's been to the doctor so many times?) First her edges started to come loose, and then one hole after another is starting to spread like wildfire. Pretty soon, I am fearful that she will be nothing but a long string. And what will we do? She's on a very limited washing schedule, in which we give her a bath in a bowl in the sink. I fear she wouldn't make it in the washing machine ever again, even in a lingerie bag.

I've come up with short term solution, but I'm looking for more ideas. I just tied her in a big knot. Katy complained that she was "bumpy," but it's the only way I can think of to keep her from unraveling. I might tie her again so she's just one knotted ball. But I'm not sure how Katy would react.

So seriously, any suggestions for saving my daughter's best friend? Or how I would comfort her if Blankie went by the wayside?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Now THAT was a good time...

Everything went swimmingly with the big celebration. It was sincerely one of the best times I have had in a really long while. It was lots and lots of girl time with some really fantastic women, laughing so hard my face hurt, and other fancy stuff like fresh flowers and homemade treats. I also saw an hour of the evening that I haven't seen in a looong time, except for baby feedings. And for those of you who live locally, did you know that there is a thriving night life in this city? I had no idea that was going on every weekend.

Everyone, but most importantly Cindy, kept saying what a fabulous time they had. I left most of the picture taking to my talented friend Jen, so I only have a few measly snapshots.

Jen flew in on Friday to help with last minute details. She did a beautiful job with the cake.

The spread...

The blushing bride

Some of the ladies who made this all happen. Can't wait for the wedding!

Friday, August 07, 2009

This Week: Crazy

This weekend I am hosting a bridal shower/bachelorette/slumber party for one of my dearest friends Cindy. I've known her since 7th grade, she's been my BFF for years and years, through many addresses and jobs and life stages. We shared a 500 sq. ft. apartment when I first moved here for a few months before she relocated. Now she is marrying Chan and I am so happy for them. So it's a big party, a big deal, and I've been getting ready for a while.

So last weekend we had a couple of crazy things happen. First of all, Katy's rambunctious nature caused her to have a very scary fall. It was so unsettling that I couldn't write about it for a couple of days until we were in the clear. I didn't sleep the night after it happened, I was so worried. I'll share the details with you in person, but I'd rather not lay it out here.

Then after a long day of yard work (Brian, I can't take credit), my husband apparently ate something he shouldn't have (we have some ideas). He missed 3 days (!!) of work, which is unfounded. Not only was I concerned for him, but I spent the week hoping and praying that it wasn't a virus that would spread to the rest of us. (I have such a hard time telling if that kind of sick is stomach flu or food poisoning?) But he got better, and the rest of have never had any symptoms. So I'm breathing a big (cautious) sigh of relief as the festivities get underway.

But! In the midst of it all, the kids are so cute and funny!

I told Katy that she was going to a birthday party at a swimming pool. She argued, "But Mommy, you don't go swimming at a birthday party!" I told her that yes, sometimes you do. She looked confused. Then we were reviewing that the birthday girl will get to blow out the candles and open the presents. She said, "But Mommy! I'm a great sticky tape taker-offer!"

I accidentally left the gate at the bottom of the stairs open, and I noticed David head in that direction and then get quiet. I was pretty sure he had gone upstairs, so I pretended to sneak up there and said, "I caught you! You're sneaky!" He laughed so hard for several minutes. He was literally holding his belly he was laughing so hard. He thought it was absolutely hilarious that he snuck up the stairs.

We went to Katy's preschool this week to drop off paperwork, so this was the first time she got to see it. She could not stop talking about her school. Her school had pretty flowers and her school had a playground, and her school had a kitchen! She really wants me to leave her there. She told me, "Next time, Mommy, you take me to my school and then you leave." Yes, ma'am.

David could eat snacks until the cows come home. He's very good at communicating (even if in an unpleasant tone) what he would like to eat. And if for some reason you won't let him have it: take cover. It does not go over well. If there are chips, french fries, or toast in his line of sight, that's all he can think about, so we keep those things hidden as much as possible.

Katy had a really good week on the potty. Perhaps it just takes a week to recover from being away? I hope not, because we have more traveling coming up.

I just love all of Katy's questions these days.
"Mommy, does the dentist let you clean your teeth yourself or do they help you?"
"Mommy, why do you take a shower all day?" (she meant every day - haha)
"Is this nap or ni-night?"
"Are we going to eat outside or inside?"
"What are we going to do next?"
"Will this store have cars?" (the carts shaped like cars)
"Do we need to pack a suitcase to go to the restaurant?"
"Am I going to live at school?"

I've been getting out to go for a walk some evenings after the kids are in bed. It's just 30 minutes, but it's the perfect combination of quiet and hushed neighborhood activity. Just enough space to clear my mind and have a little perspective on my days. And while I would love for Brian to be able to join me (double stroller - not the same), the alone time is nice. I think it's good for me. And for us. Hopefully it will keep the spazzing in check.